Arab World English Journal (October, 2018) Theses ID 211 Pp. 1-53
Author: Huriyyah ALRaznah
Thesis Title: “The Truth May Well Turn Out To Be More Stranger Than we Think”:
The “Whydunit” in Agatha Christie’s A Pocket Full of Rye
Subject/major: English Literature
Institution: Department of English Language and Literature, College of Languages and Translation, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, KSA
Degree: Master of English Literature
Year of award: December 2016
Supervisor: Dr. Afra Al-Shiban
Keywords: A Pocket Full of Rye, Christie, nursery rhyme, serial killer, triple murder, Whydunit, tripartite Psyche
Crime fiction is a very popular genre that is worthy of exploration and analysis. It dates as far back as the earliest crime fiction of Thomas Skinner Sturr’s anonymous Richmond in 1827, up to the present. In fact, twenty-first century statistics show that the most sold novels are detective fiction. Accordingly, the present study proposes to examine a novel by the queen of crime fiction, Agatha Christie (1890-1976). Her influence on the golden age of the crime mystery is highly considered due to her innovative creativity and improvement of the classic whodunit stories. Christie has developed the whodunit genre through her stunning plots in which she had made it possible for anyone to commit a crime; a sweet son or daughter, a dear husband, and even a gentle-looking grandmother. Christie breached the conventional rules of the genre by introducing puzzle-like plots. Her intricate plots deserve serious recognition. One of her most famous whodunit novels is A Pocket Full of Rye (1953). This mystery fiction is saliently known for its nursery rhyme crime in which a murderer follows in his crime a popular and traditional song. Henceforth, the psychological consciousness of the culprit and the hidden motives behind his serial crimes need to be deeply analyzed. On that account, this non-thesis proposes to look at the “Whydunit” rather than the by now exhausted “Whodunit.” Consequently, using the psychological approach to literature, this study investigates the “why” of the murders committed rather than the “who.” The intention of this study is to mark a revival of interest in this now-forgotten writer.
Cite as: ALRaznah, H. (2016). “The Truth May Well Turn Out To Be More Stranger Than we Think”: The “Whydunit” in Agatha Christie’s A Pocket Full of Rye Department of English Language and Literature, College of Languages and Translation, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, KSA (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from Arab World English Journal (ID Number: 211 October 2018, 1-53.