ENG 360 Final Exam
1. 19th Century Detective Fiction – a genre which deals with fictionalized mystery crimes, which are often solved by the main story characters. In this genre it is common for the story to include clues and evidence for the readers to put together and try to solve the mystery independent of the detective. Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” is an example of 19th century detective fiction.
2. Whodunit – a plot driven detective story which allows the audience to participate in the deduction process. Additionally, the reader is given clues as to who the villain is in the story. The detective in the story is usually one who has extensive experience. Agatha Christe’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is an example of a Whodunit.
3. Hardboiled Detective Fiction – began in early 1940s as an alternate to the traditional murder mystery. This genre relies more on physical force than imagination to solve the crime. The settings usually occur in cities versus villages and take the readers through the sleazy and glamorous sides the city. Hammett’s The Second Story Angel is an example of a hardboiled detective fiction.
4. Postmodern Detective Fiction – This genre usually has the author appear as a character, sometimes even a suspect. The reader is usually given clues, and needs to gather evidence. Characteristics contain elements of irony, playfulness, and even humor. Many also contain a story within a story. The Real Inspector Hound is an example of a postmodern detective fiction.
Short Answer: Write a 1-paragraph responding to each of these prompts. (70 points total)
1. Identify a similar occurrence (for example, the representation of a city, the discovery of a clue, the inclusion of a red herring, a depiction of a crime scene, or inner monologue) in a film/TV episode and a short story/novel/play from class. How does the medium (i.e., being filmed or written) change the representation? (15) Chesterson’s “The Blue Cross” in this we see Father Brown’s ability to not only save his own life but to also solve the perplexing crime. Father Brown realizes that the police are not able to protect the citizens from criminals at every moment. We come to realize that Father Brown’s actions are essential for his own protection and to prevent the valuable blue cross from being stolen by Flambeau. Chesterton challenges the reader to learn the true explanation for many apparently linked and strange clues. I found similarities in The Blue Cross and the current show of NCIS. The show NCIS is a police based drama series, which centers on a team of agents in Washington D.C. from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts criminal investigations involving the US Navy and Marines.
2. One of the great draws of the detective genre is that it is entertaining. How does detective fiction engage its audience? Why do audiences find it enjoyable? Be sure to support all of your claims with specific textual evidence. (15) Detective fiction is able to engage its readers and audience by creating an intricate and interesting plot full of fascinating characters, and all types of details about the crime. This draws the reader into the plot and keeps them wanting to read to the end until they find the solution to the mystery. Additionally, the reader becomes engaged with the murder mystery storyline that is solved by the main characters and the heroes or main characters of the story (because they are not always professional detectives). Audiences and readers enjoy detective fiction because many like being challenged to solve the crime by the clues given before the detective reveals the answer at the end of the novel.
3. Briefly summarize Foucault’s idea of panopticism. Then apply this critical framework to one of the texts we read in this course. Make sure to support your application of the framework by drawing on textual details from the text you are analyzing. (15) Foucault states that the expansion of...
Cited: Irwin, John T.. "Interview with John Irwin." Interview by Adrienne Foreman. Project Muse. Project Muse, June 2010. Web. 23 Aug. 2014.
Irwin, John T. The Mystery to a Solution: Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. Print.
Poe, Edgar A, and Rick Schreiter. The Purloined Letter: The Murders in the Rue Morgue. New York: F. Watts, 1966. Print.
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