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In Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot detective stories, the themes of moral ambiguity and justice are central to the narratives. For Essay #4, you will choose two or more stories (picked from the two novels and/or set of short stories we have read this semester) and analyze how Christie explores the complexities of moral ambiguity and justice through the characters and plot developments by answering one of the questions below:

How does Christie present the concept of justice in her stories? Is justice portrayed as absolute and clear-cut, or are there instances of moral ambiguity surrounding what constitutes justice?

  • Explore the character of Hercule Poirot himself. How does Poirot’s unique approach to solving mysteries reflect a particular stance on justice and moral decision-making?

Identify specific instances in the stories where characters’ actions challenge conventional notions of right and wrong. How does Christie use these instances to comment on societal values and ethical dilemmas?

Discuss the role of ambiguity in the resolution of the mysteries. Are there cases where justice is served in an unexpected or morally ambiguous manner?

  • In your essay, provide a thesis statement that articulates your perspective on how Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot stories engage with moral ambiguity and justice. Support your argument with close readings of the texts, focusing on key scenes, character interactions, and thematic developments in addition to three outside sources to help support your points.Use at least three scholarly sources that analyze Agatha Christie’s use of moral ambiguity and justice in her detective fiction. These sources might include critical essays on Christie’s works, scholarly articles discussing ethics in detective fiction, or broader analyses of morality in literature. Another option is to use outside sources to establish definitions of the concepts of moral ambiguity and/or justice which you then build your argument off of. Whatever sources you choose, incorporate these sources into your essay to enhance and substantiate your analysis, offering a more comprehensive understanding of how Christie explores moral themes in her Hercule Poirot stories.

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