Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2024


Throughout my dissertation, I analyze what Agatha Christie's 1934 Murder on the Orient Express and 1937 Death on the Nile and their 1970s and 2000s feature film adaptations suggest about the roles of mothers, female friends, and lovers. The underlying issue I speak to is how these texts, working off of a similar storyline, speak differently to these roles, especially when analyzed across time. Several key questions guiding my research and writing include: What does it mean to be a mother? Is she a savior, an avenger, or both? How does the violence associated with the one reconcile with the sacrifice of the other? What does it mean to be a female friend? Does it require loyalty at all costs and a constant attitude of sacrificial giving and unquestioning forgiveness? What does it mean to be a lover? What is the best way to have a companionate relationship in the modern era? Using cultural history, literary history, and intertextual references connected with each of these texts, I demonstrate that, although the presentation of these roles may fluctuate across time, society continues to struggle to make definitive statements about what it means to be a mother, female friend, and lover.




Dr. Chris Nagle, Faculty Advisor