By M. Makinen
Christie's books depict ladies as adventurous, self sustaining 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 as a result of their femininity. This ebook demonstrates precisely how quietly innovatory Christie was once on the subject of gender.
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You know what she is, sir, just like one of those rubber bones you buy for little dorgs – guaranteed indestructible” ’ (SA, p. 342). ” ’ but Tommy, in a new kind of gender relationship, reassures Detecting Deviancy 29 him, ‘ “I’ve great faith in Tuppence” ’ (SA, p. 268). Indeed throughout the five novels, there is a running trope that allows Tuppence to reject the concept of being weaker or inferior, and asserts a deliberate equality in their relationship. ‘I’ll look after her, sir,’ said Thomas.
Also, in ignoring gender specificity, Tuppence’s deployment points to a destabilising, subversive potential, offering alternative models of female subjectivity. ’32 Throughout the novels, the Beresfords’ competitiveness is given a gendered edge, and in the pastiches of contemporary detectives, this links to who solves the crimes. Where Tommy takes the star detective role, and Tuppence the sidekick – Tommy’s Thorndyke to Tuppence’s Polton; His Desmond Oakwood to her Francis Oakwood; He Detecting Deviancy 35 as The Old Man in the Corner, she as Polly Burton – it is the sidekick, Tuppence who solves the mystery or discovers the main clue, thereby further destabilising the dominance and subservience of the traditional constructions.
Rejecting the view of Christie’s nostalgia for the leisured classes, she traces the representation of country houses as motifs of social change and class mutability, warping their inhabitants if they strive to fix them in an Edwardian past. 104 Miss Marple, ‘the type of gossipy village spinster-with-nothing-better-to do’, he feels, is a poor ‘ “celebration” (if it was that)’105 of such feminine emancipation. The twenty-first century continues this see-saw effect of critics further developing Christie’s subtle questioning of her contemporary gender norms and those who, focused on her as the quintessential puzzleplotter, continue to suggest she is conservatively reinforcing gendered expectations.
Agatha Christie: Investigating Femininity by M. Makinen