And Then There Were None (Christie)

Discussion Questions
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Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for And Then There Were None:

1. Talk about the characters—are any of them likable? Do you develop sympathy for anyone in particular: put another way, are some more sympathic than others? Why might Christie have put together such an unpleasant cast of characters?

2. Was there any one individual you originally suspected? What about Dr. Armstrong, who goes off alone to find General Macarthur?

3. Locate the various clues Christie leaves along the way... 1) clues designed to lead us off the path, as in a red herring, and 2) clues that point to the real culprit.

4. What is the point of the poem "Ten Little Soldiers" and the fact that after each death one of the figurines on the dining room table goes missing? How do both poem and figurines function in the story? Why might Christie have used such a symbol?

5. Why does Emily Brent write in her diary the name Beatrice Taylor as the murderer? Does Brent feel guilt for what she had done...or not? Do any of the guests come to regret their past actions?

6. Talk about class and gender distinctions. Do you find it strange that Rogers continues to serve the guests despite the death of his wife? Or that women are in charge of meals and clean-up? What about the anti-semitic references?

7. Talk about the motive behind the murders of all the guests—which then might lead you into a discussion of legal justice vs. philosophical justice. Each of the guests is guilty of a crime, but not one that could be prosecuted in a court of law. Does each receive his/her just deserts? In other words, has true justice been accomplished by the end of the novel? Is the murderer insane as all the guests claim? Or is he/she acting with clear-headed logic and rationality?

8. Is the endng satisfying? Were you surprised by the identity of the murderer? Would you have preferred the final victim to discover who the killer was before dying? Why might Christie have withheld that information from readers, as well, until the epilogue?

9. Have you read any other Agatha Christie novels? Which ones...and how does this compare?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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