TRANSFORMATION OF THE FEMALE DETECTIVE IMAGE IN THE 19th AND 20th CENTURIES ENGLISH FEMALE DETECTIVE PROSE
Keywords:English literature, detective prose, female detective prose, the image of the female detective, the transformation of the literary image.
AbstractThe article deals with the peculiarities of the image of the female detective in the English female detective prose of the 19th and 20th centuries. We have traced the changes in the portrayal of the female detective in English literature and singled out the factors which influenced them. First of all, every writer’s experience and life conditions make an impact on the construction of their images. It is obvious that S. Hopley couldn’t but work secretly as her creator C. Crowe wrote detective using the other name. It was the trend of the nineteenth century. In the first part of the twentieth century, women started to obtain different professions alongside men. A. Christie and D. Sayers had an opportunity to be not only writers but even theoreticians of the genre. That is why Miss Marple and H. Vane were able to show their achievements together with men. And the second part of the twentieth century presented women with total freedom. So, we can read about Sharon McCone who is a successful private detective. The second important fact is the situation in the society which for sure is reflected in the realistic literary works and can be easily noticed in the behaviour of the characters. And the last efficient thing is the plot of the story because it dictates the actions which sometimes do not depend on the personality. The article analyzes the characteristic features of the female detectives belonging to three stages of detective development: detective classics (until the early twentieth century), detective modernism (1910–the 1970s), and detective postmodernism (after the 1970s). The female detective of detective classics is clever and kind but lacks self-confidence and support. Detective modernism shows us an intelligent, smart, very brave, and attentive detective. The woman detective of the postmodern period is smart, courageous, emotional, and hard-working. Thus, we have suggested the canonic image of the female detective. She has a sharp mind, a very high level of knowledge, a sense of responsibility, a strong wish to work, and a little time for her personal life. This woman is pretty, careful, witty, and ready to investigate at any time.
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