And Then There Were None is a murder mystery novel.
The narrator of the novel is an unnamed omniscient individual.
Point of View
The point of view is a key feature of And Then There Were None. In the novel the point of view constantly shifts back and forth between each of the ten characters.
The narrator relates the story in a dark, foreboding, and sinister tone, and often reacts dramatically (or melodramatically) to the events of the story.
And Then There Were None is told in the past tense.
Setting (Time & Place)
The novel is set in the 1930s and takes place on Indian Island, a fictional island off the coast of Devonshire in Southeast England.
Although no clear protagonist exists, Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard are the most fully developed characters, and they outlive almost everyone else. Another way to look at And Then There Were None is that the anonymous killer is actually the protagonist, since that character is driving the events in the narrative.
An anonymous killer gathers a collection of strangers on Indian Island to murder them as punishment for their past crimes.
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.
The apparent death of Judge Wargrave and the disappearance of Dr. Armstrong strip away any sense of order.
The murders of Blore, Lombard, and Vera, combined with Wargrave’s confession, restore some sense of order to the chaos of the story.
Foreshadowing is another key feature of And Then There Were None, and examples of it abound in the novel. These include 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.