Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
M. Lee Alexander
This thesis covers the representation of violence and trauma in both the British Golden Age and the American hard-boiled detective genres. Because they both gained popularity directly after World War I but have such widely different styles of murder, I have explored the possible reasons for this discrepancy. These include, but are not limited to, the gender divide between British and American authors, the experience these authors had during World War I, and the influence of war and violence on their general readership at the time. Some texts, such as Chandler’s article “The Simple Art of Murder,” examine the difference in national style as well, but it is within the context of the detective fiction genre rather than the inter-war period as a whole. In short, most of the critical texts view detective fiction authors of the time as post-Sherlock Holmes, rather than post-war. My goal was to discuss how the trauma of the Great War is dealt with differently in American and British murder mysteries. I have examined the novels Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers and Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler, and compared them
Ainsworth, Kyla J., ""Can't They Stop The Guns?" Trauma and Inter-War Detective Fiction" (2014). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 95.
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