44 pages 1 hour read

Nina de Gramont

The Christie Affair

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Symbols & Motifs

Agatha’s Typewriter

Agatha’s typewriter is at the core of her identity, and it appears several times in the novel. Unlike her car, which carries great sentimental value, the typewriter is often overlooked as one of her most beloved possessions. It has transcended the role of a coveted possession and become an extension of her person: “She wrote her books wherever she found herself, so long as she had a table and a typewriter” (24). As Agatha prepares to leave her home, she takes stock of what she’d like to bring with her: “the wonderful car she’d bought all on her own. The typewriter that made it happen” (60). Here Agatha’s first thought is to her car, which is her most treasured possession, but she acknowledges that she has it only because of her deeper, more intimate relationship with her typewriter. When she goes astray and leaves with Finbarr, she forgets her suitcase in her car but makes sure to bring her typewriter with her.

Later, the typewriter is used as a metonym for Agatha herself. Chilton reaches a house abandoned by everything save the sound of typewriter keys. At this moment, the reader knows immediately that the sound means Agatha is nearby. The typewriter continues to be a motif in Agatha and Chilton’s relationship.

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