Author Date

2022-03-18

Degree Name

BA

Department

English

College

Humanities

Defense Date

2022-03-04

Publication Date

2022-03-18

First Faculty Advisor

Jamie Horrocks

First Faculty Reader

Jarica Watts

Honors Coordinator

Aaron Eastley

Keywords

masculinity, Agatha Christie, England, Post-WWII

Abstract

This thesis examines the ways in which Agatha Christie’s Taken at the Flood serves to illustrate the fragility and ultimate destabilization of masculinity immediately following WWII. Christie illustrates this break by comparing two men, David Hunter and Rowley Cloade who represent types of men in Britain’s postwar landscape. Throughout the text, David Hunter is framed as a dangerous and dreadful young man, serving as a representation of post-war fears about demobbed soldiers attacking young women. However, the story really revolves around the civilian trauma that Rowley Cloade has sustained through his wartime role as a farmer, which comes from repression and leads to violence. This manifests especially when he is triggered by the mention of Johnny, his best friend he lost in the war, and the potential loss of Lynn, his long-term fiance who appropriates many of his masculine characteristics. These triggering events result in bursts of violence, and yet, at the end of the story, Rowley is exonerated, forgiven by the characters and possibly by Christie, because his violence is perceived as stemming from his inability to express his civilian trauma within the strictures of masculinity.

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