By M. Makinen
Christie's books depict ladies as adventurous, self sufficient figures who renegotiate sexual relationships alongside extra equivalent traces. ladies 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 was once on the subject of gender.
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That same frightening ferocity and singleness of purpose. Motherhood – unrelenting! So, no doubt, felt many a quiet Mrs Jones and Mrs Smith all over England. There was no arguing with the female of the species – the mother deprived of her young. , p. 202) The British establishment of the secret service boss, Grant, might assert that Tuppence’s brand of femininity is unusual, one in a thousand, but this passage seems to assert a similar determinacy on a larger scale that crosses national boundaries and gives maternal femininity a power and dangerousness to meet the exigencies of the war.
Like so many of the anti-heroes of the period, Poirot is “a little man”. W. ’ ‘You are always so sceptical,’ said Poirot. ’ (ECR, p. 245)39 Detecting Deviancy 37 In ‘The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim’ (1923),40 he challenges Inspector Japp that he can solve the mystery of the absent financier without once leaving his flat. However, as Barnard points out, he is ‘completely versatile’,41 at times employing sedentary reflection, and at others examining details within a room, as in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, or insisting on interviewing all the suspects himself, as in Murder on the Orient Express (1934).
Just because Christie’s most well-known two detectives are both elderly from their inception does not mean that we can necessarily assume that Christie’s narratives or characters will evince old-fashioned views or reinforce what was rapidly becoming outmoded ways of being. The twenties and thirties were a period of intense contentions, of unsettling the concepts of gender in relation to the ‘modern’ age, and Christie’s novels form a small but definite part of that debate, and one that then continues for over fifty years, into the seventies.
Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity by M. Makinen