Over the course of several works throughout this semester, which is sub-titled “The Gothic, the Ghostly, and the Mysterious,” we have dealt with the high/pop culture discussion quite a bit, especially in relation to “the mysterious.”
With works that contained a lot of Gothic elements, the items on the syllabus were by authors unquestionably considered part of the literary canon, often deemed “classics” . The same goes for works involving ghostly sightings. Who would fault a study of Henry James, as serious a writer as one gets? Both Elizabeth Bowen and Joyce Carol Oates are writers of some repute in their times as well.
The issue becomes a bit more murky with the “Mysterious” portion of this syllabus. Admittedly, one does not usually sign up for “English literature” classes thinking that they would read Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, and watch Knives Out.
On the other hand, it’s quite possible that some of you might have enjoyed these works the most. But let’s put aside “enjoyment” for now.
Instead, consider the merits of using detective fiction, in this case Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, more strictly on the basis of how this work could help us become better readers who can produce stronger critical analysis and offer interesting interpretations. How might Christie’s work be just as effective in showing us good characterization, with meaningful themes, and important (multi) cultural perspectives?
Discussion Prompt: Agatha Christie
Consider the above section. You might see that the questions being posed in the last paragraph essentially amounts to this: How might we be able to use Murder on the Orient Express as a useful learning tool in literature classes?
Respond with a FULL paragraph on the above bolded and italicized question, providing specific details and textual evidence when possible.
Rather than trying to address too many of the bolded elements, it would be most useful if you concentrated on 1-2 topics and give as much detailed analysis as possible.
The response should be at least 150 Words before citations.