Vivian Sternwood Rutledge makes the biggest impact on the hero, and therefore represents the most appealing qualities of the day. From her initial introduction, Vivian evokes an image quite unlike the stereotypical feminine mystique. To begin with, her voice is deep and strong, even masculine, distinct from any past voice of sensuality. Additionally, she presents herself in a manner quite different from the standard of the day. Instead of wearing a dress or a skirt, Mrs. Rutledge wears slacks and a buttoned down shirt, almost masculine attire, yet with an undeniable feminine quality. Her image exudes strength with elegance, and she begins to demonstrate her capacity to handle any task that may come her way. Vivian’s strength and masculinity reveal changes in feminine construction, and by choosing her over other women. Vivian, however, embodies this synthesis of masculine competence and feminine sexual appeal. As the film progresses, Vivian reveals more of her complex character and innate ability. Vivian’s plots are intricately woven, and her lies have a direct purpose: to protect Carmen. She even has a strong sense of fairness, holding up her end of Eddie Mars’s deal and upholding Marlowe’s moral standards. In the film’s second half, Vivian maintains her initial struggle for independence, but begins to succumb to Marlowe’s overpowering strength and ability. This interesting turn of events shows the film’s overall restatement of the standard paradigm of sexual relations, with men dominating the women. Although Vivian is clearly strong and capable, she doesn’t even hold a candle to Marlowe. In her final attempt to make the calls, Vivian offers Marlowe the option of being set free in exchange for not prying any longer. Marlowe, however, exerts his own power and rejects her proposition outright. After kissing, he begins to exert complete dominance of Vivian, reinforcing male superiority.