Detective Fiction And Crime Fiction

1511 Words Dec 9th, 2016 7 Pages
Detective fiction has often been perceived as a lesser form of literature. Many scholars believe that detective fiction is below average in quality and does not offer much more beyond entertainment. Time and time again detective fiction has been belittled for its quality of literature, being place below other genres. Some scholars have come to the defense of detective fiction. Scholar R. Austin Freeman stated, “The status of the whole class has been fixed by an estimate formed from inferior samples” (Freeman) and this is true. Detective fiction has been plagued with average works, however, it does offer more than just a story about crime. Detective fiction can be used as a medium to comment on social issues. Early in the 20th century, the United States was still battling an epidemic of racism and violence towards african-americans. Continual incidents of lynchings, beatings, and verbal abuse barraged the african-american community. During this time period, detective fiction was used to comment on this racial inequality by pushing for equality through underlying themes in stories. Detective fiction offered works that were extremely progressive in regards to their comments on racial inequality. “Talma Gordon” written in 1900 by Pauline Hopkins is a testament to that. The story begins with a group of upper class men having a discussion in the Canterbury Club in Boston. The men are discussing their views on interracial marriage. Many in the club hypothesized that interracial…
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