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Variations Between The Moonstone and Modern Day Detective Novels

Variations Between The Moonstone and Modern Day Detective Novels

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Derby 1 Margaret Derby ENGL 2320 Dr. Santesso 5 April 2011 Variations Between The Moonstone and the Modern Detective Novel When Wilkie Collins first published The Moonstone in 1868 it was a story unlike any other of its time. While it falls into the category of “sensation novel”, it is often known as the father of the modern detective story because it created the framework for the archetypal detective novel. Not only did it establish a basic outline for the plot-flow of the detective story, but some of the ideas that now seem definitive to this genre, such as writing so the detective and the audience both know the same amount of information and using the least likely person as the criminal, also began with The Moonstone . There are, however, some major differences between The Moonstone and the modern detective novel. The Moonstone differs from the expectations the modern audience has of a detective story in that there is no definite detective figure, the ending is resolved strangely, and the novel in addition to being a detective story also acts as social commentary. There would be no detective genre if there was no detective. It is strange then that The Moonstone , the novel that set the standard for the detective genre, has no true archetypal detective role. Although the detective, Sergeant Cuff, contains many qualities of the modern day representation of the private eye, he also challenges the majority of the modern audience’s expectations towards that character type by his absence and lack of participation throughout the novel. While the majority of modern detective entertainment revolves solely around the detective and his quest to uncover the crime, Sergeant Cuff only appears in brief sections of The
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Derby 2 Moonstone . The Moonstone is written in narrative form, allowing each of the true main characters in the novel to tell their story from a first person point of view. Sergeant Cuff has no narrative, so this format does not allow for many appearances from him. While he does fulfill some of the archetypal characteristics for the detective character, those same characteristics also
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Variations Between The Moonstone and Modern Day Detective Novels

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