And Then There Were None
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. Discuss the narrative techniques that Christie uses to create and maintain suspense throughout the novel.
2. Discuss the weaknesses of Dr. Armstrong, William Blore, Philip Lombard, and Vera Claythorne, and explain how Wargrave exploits these weaknesses as he carries out his plot.
3. What do you make of Christie’s decision to violate the standard rules of mystery writing by making it nearly impossible for us to solve the mystery of And Then There Were None by ourselves? How does the unusual plot affect the experience of reading the novel?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Discuss the role of the poem “Ten Little Indians” in And Then There Were None. Why does the murderer choose to follow the poem so closely? What effect does this have on the characters?
2. Discuss how Christie portrays social hierarchies. What commentary is she making on her society’s class system?
3. Do you think that Wargrave acts justly? Why or why not?
4. Discuss the various alliances that form throughout the novel—particularly those between Blore, Armstrong, and Lombard; between Armstrong and Wargrave; and between Vera and Lombard. How do these alliances affect events? What makes them break down?
5. Discuss the order in which the characters die. Why do some live longer than others? Do you think this is this entirely by design? Does the murderer ever seem to lose control of the situation?
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