By M. Makinen
Christie's books depict girls as adventurous, self sufficient figures who renegotiate sexual relationships alongside extra equivalent strains. girls also are allowed to disrupt society and but the texts refuse to determine them as double deviant as a result of their femininity. This e-book demonstrates precisely how quietly innovatory Christie was once in terms of gender.
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Additional resources for Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity
Well, then, look after each other,’ said Mr Carter [Tommy’s boss], smiling. (The Secret Adversary, 1922, p. ’ (Partners in Crime, 1929, p. ’ Tommy said slowly: ‘I don’t know that I really would want to do that Tuppence and I, you see, aren’t on those terms. , 1941, p. 47) ‘I wish to goodness you could look after Mother properly,’ said Deborah severely. ‘None of us have ever been able to look after her properly,’ said Tommy. (By the Pricking of My Thumbs, 1968, p. ’ (Postern of Fate, 1973, p. 256)18 Christie consistently created a distinction between traditional, conservative gender relations, which the novels term ‘Victorian’ sentimentality and the new renegotiations of the ‘modern’, and placed masculine protectiveness as an outworn Victorian concept, as delineated in Murder is Easy (1939): ‘Good old sentimentality to the fore again, thought Luke.
A woman couldn’t have been kinder’ (MIM, p. 148) and designates his methods as ‘there wasn’t anything – no small scrap of insignificant gossip – in which he wasn’t interested. Men aren’t usually so gossipy’ (MIM, p. 98). But it is not just his vanity at his reputation, his concern for his appearance and for tidiness and symmetry in furnishings and an interest in gossip that position him as the other of conventional turn-of-thecentury masculinity, and ally him to traits traditionally constructed as feminine.
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. 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.
Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity by M. Makinen