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

By M. Makinen

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

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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.

In the final Postern of Fate (1973), the now elderly couple pursue their own lines of enquiry, but Tommy insists that both their methods are equally effective and they are finally toasted on their success as ‘a gifted pair’ (POF, p. 391). The complementarity is consistently egalitarian, spanning as it does the majority of the twentieth century. What seems commonplace in the seventies Postern of Fate was still radical in the twenties and thirties. But though equal, they are not the same. The texts construct a range of gender differences, often along stereotypical constructions.

67). She is exuberantly pleased to find that Tommy’s Aunt Ada still disapproves of her: ‘ “Well at my age and what with my neat and respectable and slightly boring appearance, its nice to think that you might be taken for a depraved woman of fatal sexual charm” ’ (BTPOMT, p. 41). Ever the unconventional active femininity, Tuppence in her seventies dangerously scoots down hills in a child’s toy horseand-cart in Postern of Fate. The five Beresford novels not only renegotiate a modern, more independent cultural femininity, they also highlight the lack of feminine models generically within classic detective fiction.

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