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Week 3 - Silver Blaze & The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

by: Nicole Dante

Week 3 - Silver Blaze & The Murder of Roger Ackroyd LITS 3151

Marketplace > Fairleigh Dickinson University > Literature > LITS 3151 > Week 3 Silver Blaze The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Nicole Dante
GPA 3.115

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About this Document

Classnotes on Silver Blaze (Conan Doyle), Agatha Christie background info, and all of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Additional comparisons between Conan Doyle and Christie.
Detective Fiction
Dr. Marilyn Rye
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Dante on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LITS 3151 at Fairleigh Dickinson University taught by Dr. Marilyn Rye in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Detective Fiction in Literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


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Date Created: 09/15/16
9/12/16 Silver Blaze – Arthur Conan Doyle • Clues to Crime Solution o Forgot/didn’t talk to Mrs. Straker o Didn’t question the accused – wasn’t thinking of him as a real suspect o Focus on delicate knife o Dog barking at Simpson, but not at the person who stole the horse § Familiar person o Curry mutton from the lame sheep o Lie about gypsies selling the horse § Gypsies were always suspected, so it was too much of a risk for them to steal the horse o Contents of Straker’s pockets § Had a candle on him • The horse killed Straker, Straker killed the horse o The horse was the victim • References to the imagination o “Imagine” something happening in relation to the crime and then go out and look for it § Imagine for horse going to look for a familiar stable § Find prints o Gregory is an excellent police man … “were he but gifted with imagination” • No one can find the horse because it is painted a different color o Call back to the letter turned inside out • Important characters o Master Silas – bully § Whispers in his ear (we don’t know what), knows something o Straker (trainer) – strict o Colonel Ross – impatient, insults Holmes (never forgets, lets him be punished) • Presumed relationship between owner and trainer o Animal trusts caregiver (Straker) o Straker acts as caregiver • Straker bet against his own horse because he could control how the horse would run and therefore the outcome o In debt because he had a mistress, attempting to make money o Betrayed the trust of the horse Agatha Christie • Grew up wealthy in the UK • Spent time in France • WWI o Worked in a hospital pharmacy § Knowledge of poisons, used them in her writing o Several murderous doctors in her stories • Married Archibald Christie (Airman) in 1914, divorced 1928 o Had one daughter, Rosalind • Move to Middle East o Remarried Sir Max Mallowan o Wrote stories set in Egypt • “Queen of Crime”, master plotter • Most published author • Wrote plays, romances, memoirs, as well as her crime novels • Great eccentric detective/old lady detective • Rationalization • Strong independent women, some feminist themes The Murder of Roger Ackroyd • Mrs. Ferrars dead (suicide), blackmailed for killing her husband o Roger Ackroyd knew this, but not who the blackmailer was • Money is a strong motive for all suspects • Caroline – Dr. Sheppard’s (narrator) sister o Like Holmes with her imagination, makes assumptions based on gossip/clues o “…wrong that she should arrive at this by inspired guess work.” – Sheppard pg. 6 o Shrewd but usually right • No detective at the beginning o Poirot shows up on pg. 19 o Neighbor, Sheppard thinks he’s a retired hairdresser o Described as mysterious with watchful eyes 9/15/16 • Clues that Sheppard was guilty o Position of the chair o Ignoring of the original blackmailer (Ackroyd read letter alone) o Ursula allegedly took 30 minutes to quit o Ralph and Flora didn’t seem in love o Footprint on the windowsill o Quill for drugs o Ralph in the nursing home o Ackroyd’s fingerprints on the weapon, potentially planted o We find out late in the book that Sheppard is an inventor o Flora wasn’t in the office when she originally said o Pg. 43 – references to time, what was “left undone” • Sheppard as an Unreliable Narrator o Frustrated with Caroline and how she can deduce things from gossip o Lowers eyes/doesn’t speak up when Poirot confronts everyone about what they have to hide o Disagrees more and more with Poirot towards the end o More information about Miss Russell and her doctor’s visit come out at the end (as if he was hiding it) o Doesn’t disclose his full conversation with Ralph until the end o Calls himself “Watson” to Poirot’s “Sherlock” – selling the sidekick idea and the trust too much o Lies: § Says the butler called § “Normally I would look into that…” – deflection § Says he didn’t pull out the chair • Ending o Dr. Sheppard is guilty § Planned to record Poirot’s only failed case and publish a book on the murder and investigation o Everyone is protecting Caroline and not telling her o Sheppard will not be arrested, he kills himself o Takes no responsibility for Ferrars’s death o Motivation for murder: money via blackmail • Christie Take from Conan Doyle (Holmes) o Holmes/Watson relationship o Deductions (thinking above/around the police) § “Little grey cells” § “Everyone has something to hide” • Looking at personalities • Different from Conan Doyle o Golden age detective with additions § Human nature & common sense • Village o People like Caroline – always gossiping § Surveillance (pre-modern state) § Everyone is always watching (microcosm for society)


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