By R.A. York
This learn indicates how she sought to reconcile her attachment to the Victorian prior along with her attractiveness of a brand new society that undermined status quo and in doing so gave extra possibilities to girls, careworn class-boundaries, prolonged tolerance, allowed the cult of delight and self-assertion and printed the ambiguities of respectability.
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Additional info for Agatha Christie: Power and Illusion
The wife in One Two, Buckle My Shoe has worked in drama, and in fact first met the victim there; the skill acquired allows her to masquerade as the victim when the time comes. Actors are employed as tools of investigation: in Sparkling Cyanide, George Barton reconstructs the events of a year ago, when his wife Rosemary died during a restaurant meal, and surreptitiously hires an actress to represent the dead woman. The preoccupation with illusion and unreality in They Do it with Mirrors culminates in Miss Marple’s realization that the whole setup of the handsome building and the study within which its head is closeted is a stage set and that the people apparently quarrelling behind locked doors are actors (xvii).
Illusion is in the eye of the beholder, as the inspector says (xvi); it is the act of seeing that produces error, not the concrete world. The possibility of illusion arises because things can be seen from different angles. Perception is partial and may be delusory. Christie certainly does not adopt the post-modern view that there is no ultimate truth and that all perspectives are necessarily relative because they are the product of an ethos, a way of life or an orientation to life. Her novels end with the revelation of a truth or a number of truths.
On the one hand, there is a serious questioning of concepts of identity, of uniqueness and integrity: the self is not unambiguously the product of a lifetime’s experience and choices, but can be put on, perhaps provisionally. ”. His interlocutor, admittedly, decides against becoming Mussolini or Princess Elizabeth, but the whole conversation is about whether one could have changed one’s life and become a different person, and the nostalgia for otherness is not quite denied. “Notre personnalité sociale est la création des autres”, Proust says; Christie implies that we can determine that creation by an act of deception.
Agatha Christie: Power and Illusion by R.A. York