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PD James The Skull Beneath the Skin is a crime fiction text that really encodes many of the traditional social values in Britain James plays around with gender roles as well as class systems These all play an important part in the novel as they allow our protagonist to solve the crime in the end Even though the crime is solved there is no clear solution to the other problems and corruption that surrounds the novel The protagonist of the novel is Cordelia Gray a private investigator Because the protagonist of the novel is female clearly PD James is trying to make a statement about traditional gender roles For Cordelia being a woman she is constantly questioned as to whether her job is a suitable job for a woman She being a woman becomes the reason as to her lack of experience as she is never put on a proper case People assume that because she is a woman she is unable to cope with a mans job The envelope in her pocket confirmed that the job was real The fact that she needs this kind of reassurance shows her excitement and the rarity of being put on a real case Even though she is inexperienced she shows how capable she is doing a mans task In the beginning of the novel Sir George refers to Cordelia as an amateur but then comes to realize that he may have underestimated Cordelia This very clearly shows how men view women James uses the death of Clarissa to clearly contradict Sir Georges initial thoughts of Cordelias incapabilities Clearly Cordelia was very able in controlling Clarissas death She was not rash in her decision making and she clearly knows what is going on Cordelia told herself that none of this proved that Ambrose was a murderer only that he had a motive Obviously Cordelia is a more able private investigator then people believe her to be Even
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