P.D.  James
Symposium 2001
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Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, MA
Courtney Flynn
"P.D. James: Characters Symbolic of Success and Failure"
"Fingerprints and Blood Analysis Help Investigators Solve Crime"


P.D. Jamesí novels are murder mysteries. She creates characters who solve crime and who commit crime. DNA and fingerprints help to solve many crimes in Jamesí novels.

Various female characters in P.D. Jamesí novels are symbolic of success or failures due to circumstances that they cannot control. Some are unsuccessful because of family situations while others are successful because of their professional roles. There are three symbolic characters in Jamesí novels who live a life of entrapment because someone in their family is abusive or dominating. Some symbolic characters are unsuccessful because of family situations or their professional roles. Not all of Jamesí characters are unsuccessful. The successful characters, ironically, owe their success to family and professional roles.

Crimes are committed everyday in the United States. Some are solved and some remain unsolved. In order to solve various criminal cases, detectives use evidence collected from scenes of the crime. Two of the most important pieces of evidence that can be found are fingerprints and DNA samples. It is often these two pieces of evidence that fill the missing links in what appear to be unsolvable cases. The process of collecting fingerprints started in the early 1900s. DNA started to help investigators solve crimes since the early 1980s. In the past twenty years DNA profiling improved greatly. DNA and fingerprints advanced the crime solving process in the past one hundred years.

Photo credit: http://www.homearts.com/depts/pl/fiction/18jamif1.htm