Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Puppets and Detectives

So, I have always admired puppeteers, and thought puppets were the coolest thing ever! (Sound of Music helped with this.)
For the next few weeks I'm in charge of teaching first and second grade girls about puppets (it's what I do to fufill my NHS hours)
Because of this I was looking up shadow puppets on the Internet to teach some simple ones to the girls and I found this awesome website, so I wanted to share it with you.

Second, I'm writing a research paper on Detective novels and I wanted to jot down some of my more interesting thoughts about Hercule Poirot (character of Agatha Christie) So, from my notes:

Thinks he is far smarter than the rest of human kind, and therefore tends to come off a little stuck up and cocky. This may also be because he is always portrayed through the eyes of his friend, Captain Hastings (his equivalent to Watson, but unlike Watson, Hastings often gets frustrated with his detective friend). Poirot tends to discover information, but you, the reader, do not know about it until Hastings, the narrator, knows. This causes me to be just as frustrated with Poirot as Hastings and in this Christie is breaking one of the rules of detective fiction - That the reader must have equal chance to solve the mystery as the detective. However, at the end Poirot generally points out a way that Hastings (ans therefore the reader) could have solved the mystery WITHOUT these clues (quite annoying). Poirot is different from Miss Marple in that he is an official detective, Miss Marple is just an old lady with a habit of studying human nature based on her neighbors, which she then applies to crime (it is much less annoying to be told by a sweet old lady that you are being dumb than by a private investigator). Both detectives believe that human nature is inherently flawed and therefore they trust no one, often being the key to the novel. I, like Hastings, have what Poirot calls a "too beautiful, too trusting" nature, or, as Miss Marple says, "I believe what people tell me" and if I had lived through as many stories as she has I would know not to trust anyone.

I might post more about Peter Whimsey - but, being written by a different woman, he needs to be taken with an entirely different approach.

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