By M. Makinen
Faraway from being a conservative author endorsing women's family function, Agatha Christie's publication depicts girls as adventurous, self sustaining ladies who renegotiate sexual relationships alongside extra equivalent strains. girls also are allowed the damaging competency to disrupt society and but the texts refuse to work out them as double deviant due to 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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Extra resources for Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity (Crime Files)
The texts construct a range of gender differences, often along stereotypical constructions. In The Secret Adversary, their boss Carter delineates the differences in their characters, arguing that Tommy has ‘common-sense’, ‘he worries things out slowly, and once he’s got hold of anything he doesn’t let go’; Tuppence is more intuitive and together they supply ‘pace and stamina’ (SA, pp. 315–6). Tuppence continues the early lady detective’s ability to ‘instinctively’ pick out the criminal (Mr Whittington in The Secret Adversary, Mary Chilcott in Partners in Crime) and as the master criminal notes of the pair, ‘she has intuitive flashes that might be dangerous He is not clever but it is hard to blind his eyes to facts’ (SA, p.
Feminist readings were so large a part of the decade’s literary analysis that they necessarily became a significant part of Christie scholarship and the nineties feminist pieces tend to question the earlier dismissals of Kaplan and Craig and Cadogan. The focus on her as puzzle-writer still continued. 65 Martin Priestman’s Detective Fiction and Literature (1990)66 gave an implicitly gendered discussion of women characters, the powerful, strong mother-figures, the English rose, the siren with a past, respectable wives, companion figures and ‘Cinderella-like’ unattached but overlooked women are all briefly considered alongside the ‘weak-young-man’.
Anna Katherine Green, the ‘mother of the detective novel’ (starting with The Leavenworth Case in 1878), creates a busybody spinster, Miss Butterworth in That Affair Next Door (1897), to exploit this nosiness. Both in her Autobiography2 and in the Poirot novel The Clocks,3 Christie pays testimony to the influence of the phenomenal bestseller of its time, The Leavenworth Case. Green’s later younger socialite detective Violet Strange (The Golden Slipper 1915) displays an aristocratic fastidiousness against sleuthing, since it means spying on her friends and acquaintances, but is unable to prevent herself from becoming fascinated by the puzzle element of her mysteries.