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And Then There Were None by AGATHA CHRISTIE. Pages·· MB· 12, Christie THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE. MURDER IN rkley Book. And Then There Were None is Agatha Christie's bestselling novel, with over million copies sold worldwide. Join us as we discuss the book. because of it, And Then There Were None ranks as one of Christies most popular and critically acclaimed novels. It was made into a stage play, and several film.

The narrative shifts among a variety of other characters, the mysterious Philip Lombard, the rigid spinster Miss Emily Brent, the retired General Macarthur, the successful Dr. Armstrong, the reckless Anthony Marston, and the lying Mr. Blore, who are all also headed to Soldier Island. They are taken by boat to the island by a local named Fred Narracott. At the island the host is not there but two servants, Mr. Rogers, tell the guests that dinner is almost ready.

After a pleasant dinner, the guests all gather in the parlor for drinks. All of a sudden a loud voice takes over the room, accusing each guest, one at a time, of murder. When the recording ends, Mrs. Rogers faints and is taken upstairs by her husband and the doctor. The voice has come from a gramophone hidden in the next room. Justice Wargrave, a retired judge, begins an impromptu court session — asking everyone to explain his or her accusation.

Each guest has some sort of excuse. They realize that they have all been invited to the island under false pretenses by someone with the name U. Owen which, as Wargrave points out, spells out Unknown.

and then there were none

Then, all of a sudden, Anthony Marston chokes, falls over, and dies. Armstrong checks Marston's drink and discovers that it has been poisoned!

They take him up to his room and all decide that they will try to leave in the morning. In bed in her room Vera realizes that Marston's death mirrors the first line of the Ten Little Soldiers rhyme. The next morning Mr. Rogers tells everyone that Mrs. Rogers died in the middle of the night.

He also says that two of the little soldier figurines that had been decorating the table had now disappeared. They all think that they should leave but a storm is coming and no boat will be able to get to or from the island.

Blore and Lombard decide to search the island but find no one. They do discover that Lombard has a revolver. Rogers calls everyone in for lunch, but they realize that General Macarthur is not there.

Armstrong goes to check on him and finds him dead — hit on the head with a life preserver. Wargrave holds another court-session and decides that although no one person stands out as the murderer, the killer must be one of the guests on the Island. The next morning they wake to find Rogers dead — struck on the back of head with an axe while chopping wood.

He remarks on the oddity of the hosts absence. Upstairs, Marston takes a bath. Blore ties his tie and notices the Ten Little Indians rhyme over his mantelpiece. He resolves not to bungle his job. Macarthur has misgivings about the weekend. He wishes he could leave, but the motorboat has already left. Lombard, coming down for dinner, decides to enjoy the weekend. Upstairs, Emily reads a Bible passage about sinners being judged and cast into hell, and then goes down to dinner.

Analysis: Chapter II Having placed her characters in this peculiar situation, Christie seems intent on making each one seem as suspicious as possible. As in the first chapter, she grants us access to the characters thoughts, but in a way that makes each of them seem slightly sinisteran impression that only increases when we realize that one of them is a murderer. This lack of a single clearly guilty character is one of the ways that And Then There Were None subverts the conventions of the traditional mystery story, in which the reader is given a set of clues to work with and can try to solve the case alongside the detective.

Christie is not interested in having us solve the case: instead, she seems intent on toying with us, offering plenty of false leads and filling the novel with many potential murderers in order to make it difficult for us to solve the case before the novels end. As in the first chapter, the second chapter follows the thoughts of each character in turn.

Everyones musings come across as slightly sinister. Armstrong, for example, arrives at the island and finds it magical, and it inspires him to make plans, fantastic planspossibly plans for murder. Tony Marston, in his bath, thinks to himself that he must go through with an unspecified it, which could refer to the unpleasant weekend or to acts of violence.

Blore, tying his tie, thinks about the job he must do, one that he must not bungle. Macarthur wishes he could make an excuse and get away.

Throw up the whole business. He could mean either the business of the weekend or the business of crime. Lombard, coming down for dinner, resembles a beast of prey. He thinks that he will enjoy this weekend, perhaps because he will enjoy preying on others. Finally, Emily Brent reads about the just punishment of sinners with tight-lipped satisfaction, perhaps because she plans to punish sinners herself. With these glimpses we begin to distrust the characters, which makes the mystery more intriguing, more difficult to solve, but ultimately more satisfying to uncover.

This chapter also introduces the Ten Little Indians poem, the novels dominant motif. The use of a childhood nursery rhyme as a schematic model for the murders is one of the novels most artful touches, since it establishes an atmosphere of dread as the childish verses are transformed into an eerie countdown.

The playful verses, then, perversely lead toward the and then there were none of the novels title the novels original title was, in fact, Ten Little Indians. It is significant that Vera is the first to notice the poem, since it ultimately has the strongest psychological impact on her, eventually driving her to hysterics.

Without warning, inhuman, penetrating. Ladies and gentlemen! Silence, please. You are charged with the following indictments. See Important Quotations Explained The guests enjoy a delicious dinner and begin to relax in spite of the odd circumstances.

They notice a set of ten china figures of Indians sitting in the center of the table and immediately associate the figures with the rhyme that hangs framed in all of their rooms.

When dinner is over, the whole company moves into the drawing room. Everyone except Mrs. Rogers is in the drawing room when suddenly the group hears a disembodied, mechanical-sounding voice, seemingly coming from nowhere.

It accuses each of them of murder, naming the victim and the date of each guests purported crime. After listing the crimes, it asks if anyone at the bar has something to say in his or her defense.

The voice falls silent, and almost everyone expresses shock and anger. Rogers, who has been standing outside the room, faints. While Mr. Rogers goes to fetch her some brandy, everyone else searches for the source of the voice.

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Eventually, Lombard finds an old-fashioned record player in an adjoining room. Rogers returns and admits to turning it on in accordance with orders from his employer, but he denies knowing what it was going to play. The record is entitled Swan Song. Rogers revives, and her husband and Dr.

Armstrong help her to bed.

People pour themselves drinks. When Mr. Rogers returns, he explains that he and his wife have never met their employer, Mr. He says that an agency hired them, and they received instructions by mail. Everyone else takes turns explaining his or her invitation to the island, and they realize that Mr. Owen impersonated various old friends and specific acquaintances in the letters. Judge Wargrave, who has taken charge of the discussion, notes that the recorded message mentioned a Mr.

Blore, but not a Mr. Davis, the name Blore has chosen as an alias. Blore then reveals his real name and admits that he was hired via post as a private detective to protect the jewels of Mrs.

Wargrave suggests that U. Owen sounds like and stands for unknown, and that a homicidal maniac has invited them all here. Summary: Chapter IV The subject turns to the accusations made by the voice on the record, and the guests defend themselves.

Wargrave, accused of killing a man named Edward Seton, says that Seton was an accused murderer on whom he passed sentence. Armstrong, remembering the case, privately recalls that everyone felt sure Seton would be acquitted, but Wargrave influenced the jury, which found Seton guilty. Vera, accused of killing Cyril Hamilton, tells the group that she was his governess, and he drowned while swimming to a rock. She says she tried her best to save him. Macarthur, accused of killing his wifes lover, Arthur Richmond, says that Richmond was one of his officers who died on a routine reconnaissance mission; Macarthur denies that his wife ever had an affair.

Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None

Lombard, accused of killing twenty-one members of an East African tribe, admits to taking their food and abandoning them in the wilderness, saying that he did so in order to save himself. Tony Marston, accused of killing John and Lucy Combes, remarks that they must have been two children he ran over by accident. Rogers says that he and his wife did not kill Jennifer Brady, their employer, an old, sickly woman who died one night when Mr.

Rogers could not reach the doctor in time. He admits that they inherited some money after her death. Blore says that when he was a police inspector, he testified against a man named James Landor in a bank robbery case. Landor later died in jail, but Blore insists that Landor was guilty. Armstrong, accused of causing the death of a woman named Louisa Mary Clees, denies knowing the name but privately remembers the case. Clees was an elderly woman on whom he operated while drunk.

Only the dignified Emily Brent will not speak to the accusation made against her. Wargrave suggests they leave in the morning as soon as the boat arrives; all the guests but one concur. Tony Marston suggests they ought to stay and solve the case. He then takes a drink, chokes on it, and dies. Analysis: Chapters IIIIV The truth about the party on the island is now partially revealed, since the recorded voice clarifies the hints that Christie has dropped so far about her characters shady pasts.

Now we know that they not only all have secrets, but that they have all committed murder in one form or another. We also learn that their host, whoever he or she may be, has a dark sense of humor and delights in tricks and word games.

The name U. Owen, or, as Wargrave translates it, unknown, is a play on words. Additionally, the title of the record that announces their crimes is Swan Song, a term that refers to the sweet song supposedly sung by dying swans.

The hosts central and most perverse word game involves the Ten Little Indians poem, as becomes apparent after a few murders have taken place.

Most of the guests stoutly deny the accusations made against them. As the novel progresses, however, these early denials begin to break down under the strain of the situation, and one after another the characters admit their guilt to each other.

It is telling to watch, in Chapter IV, the way each deals with the allegations against him or her. Most of the guests deny the charges, but the ones who do so the loudest, we realize, are actually the people most wracked with guilt. We see earlier how Vera, Macarthur, and Armstrong, for example, are haunted by memories of their crimes but now claim to be innocent. Meanwhile, the people who seem to feel no guilt over their alleged crimes manifest different reactions.

Lombard, who throughout the novel never displays remorse for anything, willingly admits to leaving men to die in the wilderness. He sees no problem with having selfpreservation as his highest value. Similarly, Tony Marston readily owns up to running down the children. A complete egotist, he seems to regard the incident chiefly as an inconvenience for himself, since his license was suspended. Emily Brent, for her part, refuses even to speak about her incident, which reflects her intense sense of propriety but also her powerful conviction of her own righteousness.

She is not a criminal, her mind tells her, but virtuous and pure, and so there is no reason to even bother denying the charges, which she finds too ridiculous to trouble her. The self-righteousness of some of the characters reflects their position in the social hierarchy.

Emily Brent does not care about the death of her former maid partly because her maid is not her social equal. Similarly, the attractive and youthful Tony Marston inhabits the top tier of the social hierarchy; he is wealthy and frivolous, and feels no remorse for killing children who live in what he describes as some cottage or other.

Those on societys lower tiers behave more meekly in the face of the accusations. Rogers, for example, continues to perform his duties as butler even after Mrs. Rogers has fainted and she and her husband have been accused of murder. Even as the situation on the island deteriorates, constricting social hierarchies prevail. Chapters VVI Summary: Chapter V Armstrong examines the drink and finds it was poisoned, but since Marston poured it himself, the guests assume he committed suicide.

Still, they find it hard to believe that such a highspirited young man would want to take his own life. Marstons body is carried to his bedroom and placed beneath a sheet. After a time, everyone goes upstairs to bed except for Rogers, who stays downstairs to clean up.

As they enter their rooms, each guest locks his or her door. The house, so modern and gleaming, now seems horrifying in its blankness. As he prepares for bed, Wargrave thinks about Edward Seton, the man whom the voice earlier accused him of sentencing to death. The defense defended Seton well, and the prosecution presented a poor case. Everyone assumed the jury would acquit Seton. Wargrave smiles, remembering how during his summing up [h]ed cooked Setons goose.

Downstairs, Rogers notices that although ten little Indian statues originally sat on the table, now there are only nine. Macarthur lies awake in bed, recalling how during World War I he discovered that his young wife was having an affair with one of his officers. Furious, he ordered the officer, Richmond, on an impossible mission, effectively sending him to his death. No one suspected him at the time, except perhaps one of the other officers, a man named Armitage.

His wife became distant and died of pneumonia a few years later. Macarthur retired and lived by the sea, but after a time he began to worry, suspecting that Armitage had spread the story around and that people knew his secret. Now, lying in his bedroom listening to the sound of the sea, a strange feeling of peace comes over him, and he realizes that he does not really want to leave the island. In her bedroom, Vera remembers her time as Cyrils governess.

She was in love with Cyril Hamiltons cousin, Hugo, but Hugo was too poor to marry her and support both himself and her. Vera knew that if Cyril died, Hugo would inherit the family fortune. One day Cyril begged her again and again to be allowed to swim to a rock in the ocean. Vera pushes these recollections aside. As she passes the mantelpiece, she notices the similarity between Marstons death and the first verse of the Ten Little Indians poem, which reads, One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Summary: Chapter VI Armstrong has a nightmare in which he stands at his operating table, realizing he must kill the patient on the table. The patient looks like Emily Brent, then like Marston. Rogers, worried because he cannot rouse his wife, comes into the room and wakes Armstrong.

Armstrong rises and goes to find that Mrs. Rogers has died in her sleep, perhaps of an overdose of sleeping pills. Rogers says she took only the pills Armstrong gave her. In the morning the guests rise, hoping to catch sight of the boat back to the mainland. Vera, Lombard, and Blore go to the summit of the island to watch for it, but it doesnt appear.

After breakfast, Armstrong announces Mrs. Rogerss death to the group. The group is alarmed, and Macarthur gives Rogers his condolences when he returns to the room.

When Rogers leaves the room, the group begins to speculate about the cause of his wifes death. Emily Brent insists it was an act of God and that Mrs. Rogers died of a guilty conscience after hearing the recorded accusation of murder the previous night. Blore suggests that Rogers killed his wife in the hopes of covering up their secret.

After the meal, Blore and Lombard discuss their situation on the terrace and decide that the boat will not come. Macarthur, passing them, expresses his agreement in a dazed voice and wanders off, saying that none of them will ever leave the island.

Meanwhile, a baffled and frightened Rogers shows Armstrong that only eight Indian figures remain on the table. Analysis: Chapters VVI While And Then There Were None is a classic of detective fiction, it can also be seen as a forerunner of the modern horror or slasher story, with its almost supernatural overtones and the strange, serial killerlike murderer.

And like a horror movie, the novel depends, both for suspense and for the working out of its plot, on foolish behavior by the killers victims. In these chapters, we see the guests repeatedly fail to grasp what should be obviousnamely, that Marstons death could not have been a suicide and so must have been a murder. Because they refuse to admit this possibility, they are not on their guard, and the murderer easily disposes of Mrs.

Even once the characters realize what is going on, they continue to make obvious blunders, such as going places alone, that leave them vulnerable. Part of this blundering seems to stem from a mistaken devotion to propriety and class distinctions. Even after his wifes death, for instance, Rogers is still expected to serve as the butler and housekeeper, and he does so without objecting and without even showing much grief.

The upper-class characters think nothing of discussing Rogers behind his back, with Blore going so far as to accuse him of murder. Eventually, Rogerss devotion to his duties as a butler provides the murderer with an opportunity to finish him off.

During the night following Marstons death, meanwhile, Christie uses her typical brief glimpses into characters minds to provide more information about their crimes. We learn the details of how Macarthur murdered his wifes lover, for instance. At the same time, Macarthur is somewhat removed from suspicion, since his thoughts are manifestly not those of a murderer.

Perhaps Christie exonerates him because he is about to die; indeed, his sudden, strange urge never to leave the island foreshadows his death the next morning.

Meanwhile, Veras thoughts reveal how she went about disposing of her ward, Cyril, and why she did it, while Wargraves thoughts reveal only that he feels righteous about the execution of Edward Seton. Armstrongs hallucinatory dream suggests rather heavy-handedly that he has a guilty conscience about the woman who died on his operating table.

It also serves to plant suspicion in our minds: since Armstrong is dreaming about killing his fellow guests, perhaps he is planning to kill them for real. A number of brief scenes in these chapters foreshadow later events. Just before Rogers brings him news of the missing figurine, for example, Armstrong emerges onto the terrace and tries to decide whether he wants to consult with Wargrave or with Lombard and Blore. He turns toward Wargrave, foreshadowing his later, foolish alliance with the judge.

Also, the moment when Blore, Lombard, and Vera congregate at the summit of the island to await the boat foreshadows the end of the novel, when they are the only three left alive, and they again gather at the islands summit. Meanwhile, the motif of the Ten Little Indians poem continues to be developed, with the disappearance of the figurines and the correspondence between the deaths and the verses of the rhyme. Again, it is Vera who notices the connection between the poem and the death of Marston, foreshadowing the effect that the verses later have on her fragile psyche.

Emily reiterates her conviction that Mrs. Rogers died of a guilty conscience. She tells Vera the story of Beatrice Taylor, the girl the recorded voice accused Emily of killing. Beatrice Taylor worked for Emily as a maid, but when Beatrice got pregnant, Emily immediately threw her out of the house. Friendless and despairing, Beatrice drowned herself.

Emily insists that she has no reason to feel remorse, but the story horrifies Vera. Meanwhile, Lombard and Armstrong consult with each other. They discuss the possibility that Rogers killed his wife, and Armstrong expresses his conviction that the Rogers couple probably did kill the old woman in their care simply by withholding drugs that she needed.

They also consider the possibility that Mrs. Rogers killed herself, but two deathshers and Marstons within twelve hours seems like an improbable coincidence. Armstrong tells Lombard that two Indian figures have disappeared.

When Armstrong recites the first two verses of the poem, Lombard notices that they neatly correspond to the two murders. They decide that their host, Mr. Owen, committed the murders and is now hiding on the island, and they determine to search for him.

Since the island is mostly bare rock, few places for concealment exist.

It turns out that Lombard has a revolver, which surprises Blore. As they make their search, the men come across a dazed Macarthur sitting by himself, staring off into the sea.

He tells them that there is very little time and that they need to leave him alone. They decide that he must be crazy. Leaving him, they discuss how they might signal the mainland, and Lombard points out that a storm is brewing, which will isolate them. He adds that the fishermen and village people probably have been told by Mr. Owen, presumably to disregard all signals from the island.

The men come to some cliffs they want to search for caves, but they need a rope. Blore returns to the house to get one, while Armstrong wonders about Macarthurs apparent madness. Meanwhile, Vera goes out for a walk and comes across the Macarthur. She sits down, and he talks of the impending end of his life and of the relief he feels, given the guilt he has felt over the death of Richmond.

Eventually, having seemingly become unaware of Veras presence, he begins to murmur the name of his dead wife as if he expects her to appear. When Blore returns with a rope, he finds only Armstrong, who is musing that Macarthur may be the killer. Lombard returns, having gone to check some unnamed theory, and climbs down the cliff to make his search for caves. As Armstrong and Blore hold the rope, Blore remarks that Lombard climbs extremely well.

He says he does not trust Lombard and thinks it odd that he brought a revolver, saying, Its only in books that people carry revolvers around as a matter of course. Lombard finds nothing on the cliff face, and the three men return to the house, where they make a thorough search for their missing host.

The search goes quickly, since the modern house contains few potential hiding places. They hear someone moving about upstairs in Mrs. Rogerss bedroom, where her body has been laid, but it turns out to be Mr.

Completing their search, they conclude there is no one on the island but the eight of them. She makes an interesting case, since, in a certain way, she is less explicitly guilty of murder than most of the other guests.

After all, her only action was to turn a pregnant girl out of her home: she did not intend to kill Beatrice Taylor the way Vera intended to kill Cyril or Macarthur intended to kill Richmond, his wifes lover.

Nor did Emily directly cause someones death, as did Armstrong and Marston. Nevertheless, Christie depicts Emily as the most unsympathetic character in the novel, less for what she did than for her utter lack of remorse and unbending faith in her own righteousness.

The others may have committed worse crimes, but at least they admit to themselves that they did indeed commit crimes. Emily Brent has no such consciousness of her own guilt.

She is, as Christie puts it, encased in her own armour of virtue, using her religious values to justify her actions.Philip Lombard Philip Lombard has the most mysterious past of anyone on the island.

has been shot in the head.

What about you, doctor — and your little professional mistake? How is Blore killed? While some of the characters. Davis turned and held up a finger.

YUNG from Paterson
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