Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity (Crime Files) by M. Makinen

By M. Makinen

Faraway from being a conservative author endorsing women's family function, Agatha Christie's publication depicts ladies as adventurous, autonomous girls who renegotiate sexual relationships alongside extra equivalent strains. girls also are allowed the harmful competency to disrupt society and but the texts refuse to determine them as double deviant as a result of their femininity. This targeted textual research of her oeuvre demonstrates precisely how quietly innovatory Christie was once when it comes to gender, starting in nineteen twenty and concluding within the early seventies.

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Examining Tuppence in Partners in Crime, she suggests ‘[Christie’s] works promote female self expression, but finally do not trouble conventional structures’117 since Tuppence marries and puts aside detection on becoming pregnant. 118 Marriage is an important focus, and at times closure, for Christie but my examination in Chapter 3 of the whole range and diversity of acceptable feminine roles complicates such a unitary conclusion. 119 I would want to argue, following the readings of her portrayal of career women and wives renegotiating marital roles, in Chapter 3, that quietly and less obtrusively, Christie is in accord with, rather than in contrast to, such feminist agendas.

329). At other times, it is Tuppence who adopts the star detective role: her McCarty to his Riordan, she is Roger Sheringham, and she is Dr Fortune to his Inspector Bell. There are also pastiches of the more heroic kind, with Bulldog Drummond and Edgar Wallace, and the rejection of Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown as ineffective in solving the particular cases in question. Thornley Cotton and Inspector French are taken in a more unproblematic pastiche. The twist of the gender blindness, since there are not enough female role models for Tuppence, and the power politics involved in whether the great detective or the sidekick solves the case argue that these rewritings are as much parodies as pastiches in signalling an ironic critique behind the playful repetition, and a critique that is gendered in relation to the power politics of the traditional detective duo, the very thing that the Beresfords problematise in their own sexual/textual relationships.

Rejecting the view of Christie’s nostalgia for the leisured classes, she traces the representation of country houses as motifs of social change and class mutability, warping their inhabitants if they strive to fix them in an Edwardian past. 104 Miss Marple, ‘the type of gossipy village spinster-with-nothing-better-to do’, he feels, is a poor ‘ “celebration” (if it was that)’105 of such feminine emancipation. The twenty-first century continues this see-saw effect of critics further developing Christie’s subtle questioning of her contemporary gender norms and those who, focused on her as the quintessential puzzleplotter, continue to suggest she is conservatively reinforcing gendered expectations.

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