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Full Title Murder on the Orient Express or Murder on the Calais Coach
Author Agatha Christie
Type of work Novel
Time and place written 1925–1933, England
Date of first publication 1933
Publisher Berkley Books
Protagonist Hercule Poirot
Setting (time) Winter, 1925–1933
Setting (place) The setting is first aboard a train headed to Stamboul, then Stamboul and then on a train from Stamboul to London, the Orient Express.
Point of View The narrator speaks in the third person, focusing on the thoughts and actions of Poirot. The narrator is fairly objective in her observations, but the text is peppered with juicy, subjective details of each character. All observations seem to be consistent with Poirot, what the narrator thinks is the same as Poirot. There is one instance that first person is used. In Chapter 3, Part three, there is a brief moment where the reader is privy to the comical thoughts of M.Bouc and Dr.Constantine.
Tone The narrator is amused by the passengers aboard the Orient Express and seems to take pleasure in describing their predicament.
Major conflict A man is murdered aboard a train headed to London from Stamboul called the Orient Express. The morning after, the train gets stuck in the snow and it is up to Hercule Poirot to figure out which passenger was the murderer.
Rising action Hercule Poirot goes to Stamboul and must return to London on business, he rides the Orient Express back to London, the train stops in a snow bank
Climax Ratchett is murdered
Falling action Poirot is asked to launch an investigation of passengers on the train; he interviews passengers, makes observations, and propounds two solutions.
Foreshadowing Conversation overheard by Poirot between Mary Debenham and Colonel Arbuthnot on the way to Stamboul, Ratchett tells Poirot someone is going to murder him, Princess Dragomiroff tells Poirot her arms are not strong and looks at her arms.
Themes The Justice of a Jury, The Insufficency of Law, The Morality of Murder
Motifs Class, Americans, Identity
Symbols Ratchett, Daisy, Food
Ace your assignments with our guide to Murder on the Orient Express!