full title · And Then There Were None (originally published as Ten Little Indians)
author · Agatha Christie
type of work · Novel
genre · Murder mystery
language · English
time and place written · 1939, England
date of first publication · 1939
publisher · G. P. Putnam’s Sons
narrator · The narrator is an unnamed omniscient individual.
point of view · The point of view constantly shifts back and forth between each of the ten characters.
tone · The narrator relates the story in a dark, foreboding, and sinister tone, and often reacts dramatically (or melodramatically) to the events of the story.
tense · Past
setting (time) · 1930s
setting (place) · Indian Island, a fictional island off the English coast
protagonist · Although no clear protagonist exists, Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard are the most fully developed characters, and they outlive almost everyone else.
major conflict · An anonymous killer gathers a collection of strangers on Indian Island to murder them as punishment for their past crimes.
rising action · The accusations made by the recorded voice turn the island getaway into a scene of paranoia; the murders of Tony Marston, Mrs. Rogers, General Macarthur, Mr. Rogers, and Emily Brent indicate that no one will be able to escape the “Ten Little Indians” rhyme.
climax · The apparent death of Judge Wargrave and the disappearance of Dr. Armstrong strip away any sense of order.
falling action · The murders of Blore, Lombard, and Vera, combined with Wargrave’s confession, restore some sense of order to the chaos of the story.
themes · The administration of justice; the effects of guilt on one’s conscience; the danger of reliance on class distinctions
motifs · The “Ten Little Indians” poem; dreams and hallucinations
symbols · The storm; the mark on Judge Wargrave’s forehead; food
foreshadowing · Vera’s first sight of Indian Island, which she thinks looks sinister, hints at the trouble to come; the old man’s warning to Blore on the train that the day of judgment is approaching hints that Blore will soon die; the “Ten Little Indians” poem lays out the pattern for the imminent murders; Vera’s fascination with both the poem and the hook on her ceiling presage her eventual decision to hang herself.