The novel An Unsuitable Job For A Woman by P. D. James tells the story of Cordelia Gray, a female detective who is sent on a case to find out the reason why a renowned scientist’s son has killed himself. Through the story we see twists and turns and we uncover a shocking secret behind the murder of Mark Callender. The topics that will be discussed are the crime that occurred and how Cordelia solved the murder. Why Cordelia had covered up a second murder and what are the implications to her actions; finally, how her society, profession, and solution connect to the title given to the book. Cordelia was a true change to the way readers would look at detectives because she showed that there is so much more than just solving a crime when it comes to being a detective.
Cordelia Gray is sent to investigate the suicide of Mark Callender. The victim was found hanging in the room that he had been staying in while working as a gardener’s aid. Mark’s father Ronald Callender hires Cordelia in order to find out why he killed himself. Little does the reader know that the true murderer is Ronald Callender himself, and he hires Cordelia for a much different reason. The true reason for Cordelia’s employment was to find out who changed his son’s clothing after death. After murdering his very own son, Ronald Callender had made the scene of the crime look as if Mark had be trying to pleasure himself with females clothing through the means of auto eroticism. Ronald had murdered his own son in attempt to keep his grant for his lab. Cordelia states “…If the truth came out, that would be the end of their promised grant. The future of your laboratory was at stake” (James,196). She arrived at the solution because she ...
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... whole event unfolded right before your eyes, it can be nerve wrecking because you now have to live with the fact that you took a life. On top of that, you covered it up lied to various parties and now have to look those people in the eye and tell them that Ronald Callender took his own life. Just the thought of having to build lie on top of lie and force people to believe something you know deep down isn’t true can cause a great inner stress.
Society views Cordelia as incompetent because of the plain fact that she is a women, and thus she is not fit to be a detective. Being a detective is mostly seen as a man’s job because it is a dangerous field filled with deadly and violent criminals who would not hesitate to take someone out. Since Cordelia lacks most of the common skills of a detective she is not truly in the right profession. Cordelia may have a better skill
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