Presentation on theme: "Crime Fiction – what’s it all about?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Crime Fiction – what’s it all about? Crime fiction – a genre in which the cause or causes of a mysterious happening, often a crime, is gradually revealed by the hero or heroine. This is accomplished through a mixture of intelligence, ingenuity, the logical interpretation of evidence, and sometimes sheer luck.What are intelligence, ingenuity and logical interpretation?
2 Learning intentionsTo understand what conventions are used in a crime story to make it recognisable.To be able to identify these conventionsTo learn about some well known crime authors and stories
3 Success Criteria Fill in a conventions identification sheet An ICT, group and oral taskQuestions on some storiesVenn diagram and character analysis/comparisonAnd lots more!
4 The First Detective Stories Edgar Allan Poe wrote detective stories in the 19th century. His famous detectives name was Dupin.Conan Doyle later wrote his Sherlock Holmes storiesThese writers used similar techniques in their stories, and similar character types. This established the conventions (structural elements that this type of genre follow) of the detective story.
5 What are the conventions? The narrator is often a friend or associate of the detective, their mistakes and failures are used to make the detective look smarter.Past events play an important part in many of these storiesIt is intelligence that wins the day rather than strength or violence – they are methodical and logicalDialogue is important as theories are talked throughThe typical atmosphere is gloomy and dark, often with gruesome murders, bloody corpses and descriptions of terrible injuriesNarrator – person telling the story; methodical – takes things step by step until the task is done; dialogue – talking and conversation
6 Changes to crime fiction Like all things, changes occur over time. In fiction these changes are often reflections and reactions to changes occurring in society.An example – during World War 1 female authors became more common. Stories were generally set in a village with a limited number of suspects; much less gruesome in nature and past events were even more important. We might see this change as a result of societies weariness with violence and death and the fact that the men were off fighting. People were perhaps comforted by this ‘localising’ of stories. Agatha Christie is an example of this style of writing.
7 Typical conventions. Setting. Detailed; specific and believably realistic settings (often very recognisable by the audience eg small towns; trains; cruise ships; well known cities)Setting is shown as a ‘mini’ society that is confined by location (we see familiar types of people you might expect to find in such a place eg vicar; school teacher; the ‘gossip’; waiters; conductors etc)Social attitudes and values at the time of writing are reflected (often the writer is making a comment about these by the way they are presented)Settings often well researched and factually detailed (especially in the case of settings in foreign countries or past times)Vicar – name for a British priest; value – accepted standards of a group or a person;
8 Typical conventions. Plotline Often begins with a past event being shown (flashback) then goes forwards to the present timeThe plot is linear – starts with the crime then followed by clues, evidence, solutions and punishment. Other crimes may occur as subplotsDetails about the victim may be given to personalise the crimeThe investigation process involves false trails and clues or ‘red herrings’ which act as decoys or twists in the plot. These have to be worked through before the real villain is exposedLinear – follows a straight line;
9 PlotlineChapters often end with ‘cliff hangers’ which involve the protagonist (the main character)in a dangerous situation which can be life threateningActs of violence, deception, high-speed chases, cryptic messages or clues are commonplaceThe solution (particularly in early crime fiction, before the whole ‘CSI’ thing) is arrived at through intuition and ‘smarts’ rather than forensics and police procedureClosing scenes provide resolution where ambiguous clues are explained, the puzzle solved and the criminal identified.Deception – to be false or untrue/lie; cryptic – difficult to understand; intuition – ‘gut instinct’; ambiguous - unclear
10 Characterisation Four main types with examples The amateur (Dupin, Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher)The private investigator (Sherlock Holmes, Marlowe, Spade, Cordelia, Poiret)The police detective (Morse, Wexford, Dalgleish)The medical examiner, criminal psychologist, pathologist (Scarpetta, ‘Bones’)Amateur – has no formal training or qualifications;
11 CharacterisationAll tend to be gifted with extraordinary reasoning powersStereotypical characters such as femme fatales, corrupt policemen, and ‘hit’ men are often used to keep the reader’s focus fixed on the central mysteryDisguises and deception of all kinds are used to falsify the way we see things and disguise guilt or identityThe detective protagonist is often an outsider drawn by murder into an enclosed social environment (eg a social occasion; a family; a particular village or town)The investigator is an intelligent and skilled interrogatorExplanations are given by the detective during the end which clearly demonstrates how the puzzle was solvedStereotypical – a standard idea of what a particular type of person is like; femme fatale – beautiful woman who men can’t resist;
12 Themes (major messages to the reader or a ‘big’ idea eg good vs evil; war and peace) A battle of wits rather than a battle of strengthThe murderer is shown as a social misfitUniversal themes are explored – such as good vs evil; appearance vs reality; justice vs injusticeGuilt and innocence are often confused which delays the investigative process and helps build suspenseA moral conflict can develop– an individuals values conflict with social expectation or the law
13 StyleSuspense and tension are developed by following a type of ‘formula’ in the storyThe reader is challenged to become actively involved in solving the crime as well (Readers are offered most of the information that is essential to understanding the crime)Clues are found by gathering evidence and putting it togetherSolutions are reached as a result of the intelligence, and astute judgement of character, shown by the investigating detectiveClues are often revealed through a narrator (such as Watson) who may be the companion to the detective