Invitational Rhetoric And Gossip: A Feminist Rhetorical Reading Of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cynthia Damm McPeters (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Lynn Sanders

Abstract: The works of popular mystery writer Agatha Christie maintain the traditional nature of classic British mystery fiction. While seeming to adhere to the general conservatism of the genre in the first half of the twentieth century, some of Christie’s texts obliquely defy male dominance through rhetorical strategies aligned with women. A feminist rhetorical approach indicates that one of Christie’s most popular detectives, the elderly Jane Marple, solves crimes by successfully employing the tools of invitational rhetoric and gossip, thereby engaging with a feminist rhetorical agenda in her reliance on alternative rhetorical modes. Because invitational rhetoric—based in feminist principles— and gossip--peripheral discourse utilized by women and other marginalized groups—defy traditional rhetorical standards, their use indicates a rebellion against hegemonic convention. Through an examination of several Marple novels, I maintain that Christie accommodates expectations of genre and society while also subverting them through the rhetoric of those texts.

Additional Information

McPeters, C. (2017). "Invitational Rhetoric And Gossip: A Feminist Rhetorical Reading Of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Invitational rhetoric, Gossip, Agatha Christie Miss Marple, Feminist rhetoric

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