Lit Think Podcast
Chapter 3.13 - Mystery Tropes in Glass Onion

Chapter 3.13 - Mystery Tropes in Glass Onion

Investigating the whodunnit layers in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Alicia and Sarah discuss the history of whodunnits, mystery, and even true crime as they analyze Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Covering everything from Jack the Ripper to Clue, they look at the ways Glass Onion exemplifies the best elements of the mystery genre. At the end of this week’s discussion, they talk about the things they've been reading, watching, and analyzing outside of the classroom.

Literary terms of the week: Whodunit/Mystery story

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Music by Craig Harmann

Cover art by Matt Holman

Show notes:

30-second summary

  • Why Glass Onion? We wanted to talk about mystery.

  • Netflix

Literary terms of the week (plus historical context):

  • Whodunit/Mystery story

    • Detective literature dates back to mid-1800s, but this term was first used in 1930 (in a book review)

    • Most common location: Chicago

    • Famous author: Agatha Christie

      • “A circle of privileged suspects, a frame job, and now a cryptic invite evoking a British murder mystery. Sh-t. I’m in a whodunit, the lowest form of literature” (You, Season 4-1).

  • 10 Elements of Mystery Story

    • Strong hook (Covid, mystery boxes)

    • Unique setting (house in first movie, island in second)

    • A crime

    • A sleuth

    • A villain

    • Quick pacing

    • Trail of clues (puzzle)

    • Foreshadowing

    • Red herrings (throwing audience off track)

    • Satisfying ending

  • Differences between Whodunit and True Crime

    • True Crime = dark side of human nature, learning opportunity, real people

    • Whodunit = puzzle, justice focus, fiction

What are we enjoying right now?

  • Alicia: Picard (TV on Paramount+), When Women Were Dragons (Kelly Barnhill)

  • Sarah: All My Knotted-Up Life by Beth Moore (book), The Last of Us (television)

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