EMBED for wordpress. Want more? Advanced embedding details, examples, and help! The characters who publicly and self-righteously deny their crimes are tormented by guilt in private. By the following day, however, guilt so overwhelms him that he resignedly waits to die. Armstrong is equally dismissive of the charges against him, but he soon starts dreaming about the woman who died on his operating table. On the other hand, the people who own up to their crimes are less likely to feel pangs of guilt.
Lombard willingly admits to leaving tribesmen to die in the African bush, insisting that he did it to save his own life and would willingly do it again. Tony Marston readily owns up to running down the two children, and he displays no sense of having done anything wrong. While the ones who do not own up to their crimes feel the guiltiest, no such correlation exists between levels of guilt and likelihood of survival.
Conscience has no bearing on who lives the longest, as is illustrated i llustrated by the contrast between between the last two characters left alive, Lombard and Vera. These distinctions play a subtle but important role in the novel. As the situation on the island becomes more and more desperate, social hierarchies continue to dictate behavior, and their persistence ultimately ultimatel y makes it harder for some characters to survive.
Because it is expected of a man of his social class, Rogers washes up after people, remains downstairs to clean up after the others have gone to bed, and rises early in the morning to chop firewood. The separation from the group that his work necessitates makes it easy for the murderer to kill him.
Additionally, the class-bound mentality of Dr. Armstrong proves disastrous for himself and others, as he refuses to believe that a respectable professional man like Wargrave could be the killer. The murders are carried out to match, as closely as possible, the lines in the poem, and after each murder, one of the figures vanishes from the dining room. The overall effect is one of almost supernatural inevitability; eventually, eventually, all the characters realize that the next murder will match the next verse, yet they are unable to escape their fates.
The poem affects Vera Claythorne more powerfully than it affects anyone else. Symbols Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. The Storm For most of the novel, a fierce storm cuts the island off from the outside world.
This storm works as a plot device, for it both prevents anyone from escaping the island and allows the murderer free rein. At the same time, the violence of the weather symbolizes the violent acts taking place on Indian Island. This wound, as he points out in his confession, mirrors the brand that God placed upon the forehead of Cain, the first murderer in the Bible.
Food When the characters arrive on the island, isl and, they are treated to an excellent dinner. Soon, Soon, however, however, they are reduced to eating cold tongue meat out of cans.
At the end of the novel, both Lombard and Vera refuse to eat at all, since eating would require returning to the house and risking death. The shift from a fancy dinner to canned meat to no food at all symbolizes the larger pattern of events on the island, as the trappings of civilization gradually fall away and the characters are reduced to mere self-preservation. Chapter I Summary: Chapter I Justice Wargrave, Wargrave, a recently retired judge, is taking a train to the seaside town t own of Sticklehaven, Sticklehaven, where he is to catch a boat to Indian Island.
He recalls the rumors that have swirled around the island: since a mysterious Mr. Owen purchased purchased the place, people have suggested suggested that a film star or a member of the royal family really r eally owns the island. Wargrave Wargrave takes a letter from his pocket and glances over its contents.
The letter invites him to spend some time on the island and is signed by an old friend of his, Constance Culmington, whom he has not seen for eight years. He reflects that t hat Constance is exactly the kind of woman who would would buy a place like Indian Island. On the same train, Vera Claythorne ponders her invitation to the island. She was cleared of all blame for the death, we learn, but Hugo Hamilton, the man she loved, thought her guilty. She thinks of the sea and of swimming after someone in particular, knowing she would not reach him in time to save him.
She forces her mind away from those memories and glances at the man across from her, thinking he looks well traveled.
The man, Philip Lombard, gazes at Vera and finds her attractive and capable-looking. Lombard looks forward to whatever whatever he will find on the island. In another part of the train, Emily Brent sits up straight; she disapproves of slouching.
She approves of very little, in fact. She is a very conservative, religious woman who holds most of the world in contempt. She has been invited to Indian Island for a holiday by someone who claims to have once shared a guesthouse with her. Emily Brent has decided to accept the invitation, even though she cannot cannot quite read r ead the name on the signature.
General Macarthur is taking a slower train to Sticklehaven. He has been invited to the island and promised that some of his friends will be there to talk over old times. He is glad to t o have the invitation; he has worried that people avoid him because of a thirty-year-old rumor. He does not explain the nature of the rumor. Armstrong is driving to the island, having been asked to report on the condition of Mr. He is a wealthy and successful medical man, but, as he drives, he reflects on the good luck that enabled his career to survive an incident that happened some years before, when he drank heavily.
A sports car roars past Armstrong, driven by Tony Marston, a rich, handsome, and carefree young man on his way to Indian Island. Blore, a former detective and another guest, is taking a different train from the one the others are taking. He has a list of the names of all the other guests, and he reads it over, reflecting that this job will probably be easy.
His only company on the train is an old man who warns him that a storm is coming and that the day of judgment is near. As the man gets off the train, Blore reflects that the old man is closer to death and judgment than he himself is. For instance, by letting us know what each character is thinking—and such glimpses continue throughout the novel—Christie actually increases the suspense, since each character seems to harbor both innocent and guilty musings, even in the privacy of his or her own thoughts.
One of them may be a killer, but we have no way of telling exactly who it is, since man, woman, young, and old alike express suspicious thoughts alongside genuine fears.
By the time the killer is revealed, we have run the gamut of responses, from condemnation to sympathy for several characters. While some of the characters, like Emily Brent and General Macarthur, believe that they are going to Indian Island to visit old friends and others, like Blore and Lombard, believe that they have been hired to do odd jobs on the island, we sense early on that they are all being deceived.
The lack of a single reason for the various visitors to come to the island makes the whole process seem like a pretext for some deeper, deeper, hidden motive. Even before the really sinister events begin, we recognize recognize that each potential victim is i s also a potential suspect. Christie also establishes a clear authorial presence in the first chapter. This foreshadowing sets a precedent for a significant authorial presence throughout the novel, as Christie repeatedly comments on events in a dramatic or even melodramatic fashion.
With no such figure present in this novel, the authorial voice becomes stronger, providing the kind of omniscient commentary on events that a detective usually provides in works of the murder-mystery m urder-mystery genre. Justice Wargrave and Emily Brent share a cab, while Philip Lombard and Vera Claythorne wait together for the second taxi, which cannot leave until General Macarthur arrives on the slower train.
He reflects on what an odd party these guests constitute, since they do not seem to know each other at all and do not seem like friends of a millionaire, which Mr. Owen Owen must be. When the guests arrive at the island, they go up to the house, a large, modern-style building, and are greeted by the butler, Mr.
Rogers, and his wife, Mrs. Rogers, who serves as cook and housekeeper. Rogers tells them that Mr. Owen has been delayed but that they should make themselves at home. Their rooms are prepared, drinks are made, and dinner is on its way. Each of the guests goes to his or her room. Vera finds her room well appointed. A statue of a bear sits on the mantelpiece, and a nursery rhyme hangs on the wall.
Vera recognizes the nursery rhyme from her childhood. Vera reflects that the poem is appropriate since they are staying on Indian Island. She then looks out at the sea, which makes her think of drowning. Armstrong arrives in the evening, passing Wargrave as he goes into the house. He remembers giving medical testimony in front of the judge once or twice, and recalls that Wargrave had a reputation for convincing juries to convict.
The two men speak to one another, and Wargrave asks Armstrong about Constance Culmington, who supposedly invited him to the island. He learns that no one by that name is expected. Upstairs, Marston takes a bath. He resolves not to bungle his job. Macarthur has misgivings about the weekend. He wishes he could leave, but the motorboat has already left. Lombard, coming down for dinner, decides to enjoy the weekend.
Upstairs, Emily reads a Bible passage about sinners being judged and cast into hell, and then goes down to dinner. Analysis: Chapter II Having placed her characters in this peculiar situation, Christie seems intent on making each one seem as suspicious as possible. As in the first chapter, the second chapter follows the thoughts of each character in turn.
Throw up the whole business. Lombard, coming down down for dinner, resembles a beast of prey. He thinks that he will enjoy this weekend, perhaps because he will enjoy preying on others.
Finally, Emily Brent reads about the just punishment of sinners with tight-lipped satisfaction, perhaps because she plans to punish sinners herself. With these glimpses we begin to distrust the characters, which makes the mystery more intriguing, more difficult to solve, but ultimately more satisfying sati sfying to uncover. It is significant that Vera is the first to notice the poem, since it ultimately has the strongest psychological impact on her, eventually driving her to hysterics.
Without warning, inhuman, penetrating. Silence, please. You are charged with the following indictments. They notice a set of ten china figures of Indians sitting in the center of the table and immediately associate the figures with the rhyme that hangs framed in all of their rooms. When dinner is over, the whole company moves into the drawing room. Everyone except Mrs.
Rogers is in the drawing room when suddenly the group hears a disembodied, mechanical-sounding voice, seemingly coming from nowhere. After listing the crimes, it asks if anyone at the bar has something to say in his or her defense. The voice falls silent, and almost everyone expresses shock and anger.
Rogers, who has been standing outside the room, faints. While Mr. Rogers goes to fetch her some brandy, everyone else searches for the source of the voice. Eventually, Lombard finds an old-fashioned record player in an adjoining room.
Rogers returns and admits to turning it on in accordance with orders from his employer, but he denies knowing what it was going to play. Rogers revives, and her husband and Dr. Armstrong help her to bed. People pour themselves drinks. When Mr. Rogers returns, he explains that he and his wife have never met their employer, Mr. He says that an agency hired them, and they received instructions by mail.
Judge Wargrave, who has taken charge of the discussion, notes that the recorded message mentioned a Mr. Blore then reveals his real name and admits that he was hired via post as a private detective to protect the jewels of Mrs.
Wargrave suggests that U. Summary: Chapter IV The subject turns to the accusations made by the voice on the record, and the guests defend themselves. Wargrave, accused of killing a man named Edward Seton, says that Seton was an accused murderer on whom he passed sentence. Armstrong, remembering the case, privately recalls that everyone felt sure Seton would be acquitted, but Wargrave influenced the jury, which found Seton guilty. Vera, accused of killing Cyril Hamilton, tells the group that she was his governess, and he drowned while swimming to a rock.
She says she tried her best to save him. Lombard, accused of killing twenty-one members of an East African tribe, admits to taking their food and abandoning them in the wilderness, saying that he did so in order to save himself.
Tony Marston, accused of killing John and Lucy Combes, remarks that they must have been two children he ran over by accident. Rogers says that he and his wife did not kill Jennifer Brady, their employer, an old, sickly woman who died one night when Mr.
Rogers could not reach the doctor in time. He admits that they inherited some money after her death. Blore says that when he was a police inspector, he testified against a man named James Landor in a bank robbery case. Landor later died in jail, but Blore insists that Landor was guilty. Armstrong, accused of causing the death of a woman named Louisa Mary Clees, denies knowing the name but privately remembers the case.
Clees was an elderly woman on whom he operated while drunk. Only the dignified Emily Brent will not speak to the accusation made against her. Wargrave suggests they leave in the morning as soon as the boat arrives; all the guests but one concur. Tony Marston suggests they ought to stay and solve the case. He then takes a drink, chokes on it, and dies. Now we know that they not only all have secrets, but that they have all committed murder in one form or another.
We also learn that their host, whoever he or she may be, has a dark sense of humor and delights in tricks and word games. Most of the guests stoutly deny the accusations made against them. As the novel progresses, however, these early denials begin to break down under the strain of the situation, and one after another the characters admit their guilt to each other. It is telling to watch, in Chapter IV, the way each deals with the allegations against him or her.
Most of the guests deny the charges, but the ones who do so the loudest, we realize, are actually the people most wracked with guilt. We see earlier how Vera, Macarthur, and Armstrong, for example, are haunted by memories of their crimes but now claim to be innocent.
Meanwhile, the people who seem to feel no guilt over their alleged crimes manifest different reactions. Lombard, who throughout the novel never displays remorse for anything, willingly admits to leaving men to die in the wilderness. He sees no problem with having selfpreservation as his highest value. Similarly, Tony Marston readily owns up to running down the children. Edited by Lisa. December 8, Created by ImportBot. All Business Culture Economic. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter.
Related Posts. Share Tweet In the show, added sex and drugs, which in the original version there. I think Christie would not have approved such an option.