Book Chapter


'The thrill when it suddenly went pitch black!': Blackout cultures in A murder is announced and The mousetrap

Abstract

This chapter considers the motif of the plunge into darkness in Christie’s postwar works including A Murder is Announced (1950) and The Mousetrap (1952). This chapter explores how Christie’s treatment of the motif of the darkness-plunge adapts and transcends the associations of Gothic sensation fiction to broach the traumatic memory of wartime blackout and to explore the contrasting blackout cultures that developed during the Blitz. The discussion shows how Christie’s transformation of the darkness-plunge ultimately served to reaffirm individual agency for her postwar readers by substituting the lone murderer’s hand on the light-switch for the state imposed darkness of curfew and blackout, and asserting the familiarity and relative rationality of motive-led murder over indiscriminate murder from the skies.



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Embargo end: 2021-05-08

Authors

Dalrymple, Roger

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dates

Year: 2019



All rights reserved.


Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of 'The thrill when it suddenly went pitch black!': Blackout cultures in A murder is announced and The mousetrap
This RADAR resource is Part of Agatha Christie goes to war [ISBN: 9780367208523] / edited by Rebecca Mills and J.C. Bernthal.

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