Social Scandals in the Mystery Genre

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In the mystery genre one can agree that for a mystery to function as it does, it must have elements like a case that must be solved, a detective or someone who is playing as the detective, and, in most cases, murder. But in the short story “A Scandal in Bohemia,” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a social scandal is a part of the theme, which is also seen in “Witness for the Prosecution,” by Agatha Christie and “Amber Gate,” by Walter Mosley. Just as a murder or a crime disrupts an aspect of society, a social scandal functions the same way. Normally, what we view as the “private life” and “public life” is kept separately because private life operates as the “fantasy” of the two worlds by creating the image of a “normal life”, which consists of a…show more content…
Though, before, a man and his establishment was in danger because of a scandal, in this particular short story, Miss French symbolizes the wealthy class while Vole symbolizes the working class because he is working for Miss French and in need of money. In regards to the symbolism, we also must take into account to the ideal that the wealthy and working class do not overlap. In a way, this shows that one of the anxieties the society might have had at this time is the wealthy class, functioning as the private life, being destroyed by the working class, which is functioning as the public life. Furthermore, an example of this is seen when Mr. Mayherne says, “I am going to ask you a very serious question, and one of which it is vital I should have a truthful answer. You were in low water financially. You had the handling of an old lady’s affairs - an old lady whom according to her own statement, knew little or nothing of business. Did you at any time, or in any manner, convert to your own use the securities which you handled? Did you engage in any transaction for your own pecuniary advantage which will not bear the light of day” (Christie 1499). Considering this, challenged with the ideal of the working class being “bad”. Though Vole was indeed guilty, the underlying motif or idea, which is people who are in need or people who identify as poor are a threat to the rich and middle class. This happens predominately because the poor is, again, seen as a group of people are who
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