By M. Makinen
Christie's books depict ladies as adventurous, autonomous figures who renegotiate sexual relationships alongside extra equivalent strains. girls also are allowed to disrupt society and but the texts refuse to work out them as double deviant due to their femininity. This ebook demonstrates precisely how quietly innovatory Christie used to be on the subject of gender.
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Additional resources for Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity
Some critics have picked up on the fact that in the mock Detective Agency, Tommy purports to be the great detective while Tuppence’s role is the dutiful secretary, overlooking the point that as soon as the client has exited, she resumes her equality in discussing the case. The role as demure secretary, in the face of her active detecting, highlights the gender expectations of society in general and serves to call attention to the inherent sexism as does a comment in a later novel, such as ‘ “It’s a man’s job always to deal with lawyers.
The twenties was a period of unsettled gender formations, with cultural debates on the role and rights of women spurred on by the ‘new woman’, female suffrage and the removal of legislative sex discrimination of women working in the professions, at least until they married. There were complications in the binary divide between what was culturally expected of masculinity brought about by men returning from the front suffering with the ‘female malady’ of neurasthenia, quickly renamed as shell-shock, and women’s role renegotiated to work on the land and in the munitions factories as part of the war effort.
That is reserved for the less subversive and apparently more canonical detectives, Poirot and latterly, Miss Marple. Hercule Poirot If a reading of the Beresfords alerts us to the textual negotiations of gender and the modern in Christie’s detective fiction, how does this impact on an analysis of Poirot? Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), ushers in Christie’s most famous and prolific detective, Hercule Poirot, who appeared in 33 novels and over 60 short stories. Poirot’s first name, a diminution of ‘Hercules’, continues the parodic element of her fictional engagement with the genre, since the short (five foot four), egg-headed, dapper figure who is opposed to action, to ‘doing’ rather than reflecting, with his momentous moustaches, meticulous clothes and patent leather shoes, is anything but a heroic figure.