“The body which lay in the bath was that of a tall, stout man of about fifty. The hair, which was thick and black and naturally curly, had been cut and parted by a master hand, and exuded a faint violet perfume, perfectly recognizable in the close air of the bathroom. The features were thick, fleshy and strongly marked, with prominent dark eyes, and a long nose curving down to a heavy chin. The clean-shaven lips were full and sensual, and the dropped jaw showed teeth stained with tobacco” (8).
This description is clearly of a British stereotype of a Jewish man. Even before I got to the point where the characters are explicit about it, and before reading their anti-Semitic remarks, I was pretty confident that the dead man in the tub was Jewish. Introducing stereotype through detailed physical description is a very different tactic from the one Gertrude Stein employs in Malanctha. Rather than take advantage of a reader’s response to physical description, Stein mostly sticks to describing behaviors and thought patterns to communicate stereotype. Sayers and Stein use call on different parts of the reader’s probable internalization of stereotype to advance their stories.
(Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009.)