ByrdCP English 12 7th Period10 December 2017Problems in Society How would one handle being trapped on an Island with a murder? Satire is a literary element that improves humanity through humor and attitude. Agatha Christie’s, “And Then There Were None” was written as a mystery novel in 1939. It was set in a modern house on Soldier Island; or better known as Indian Island; on the South Coast of Devon. Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on September 15th, 1890 in Torquay, England.
Agatha Christie also had a passion for the arts; whether in music or in literature. Christie was the youngest of three. She was homeschooled until she turned sixteen when she moved to Paris to study vocals and piano. Throughout her career she has wrote many novels, plays, poems, and short stories.
She married twice, first to Archibald Christie and then to Max Malloween. She also has one child, Rosalind Hicks, who died in late 2004. Mrs. Christie passed away on January 12th 1976 at eighty five years old. Agatha Christie’s, And Then There Were None, is a novel that focuses on various problems in society without losing the attention of the reader.
The story begins as ten strangers are heading to Soldier Island for the weekend. Each character received a letter from a U.N. Owen saying that they met before and to come stay at the nice house on the Island. Once the ten guests arrive on the island they are greeted by the house servants and are sat down for dinner.
The group is then informed that the mysterious U.N. Owen will not be able to make it in for the night. Soon after, an announcement was made all through the house listing out each of the ten strangers and the murder, or murders, they committed. All began to realize the potential danger they were in.
The strangers decided to share their story and drink some wine. However, wine was a bad decision as one was poisoned and dropped dead.The first response was fear.
How could someone so young die? Was it suicide? One by one, the guests die. The strangers start to notice the ten figurines, as the tables centerpiece, were disappearing after each death. They also start to realize that the deaths resemble a nursery rhyme, “Ten Little Indians.” They only question was, how is someone hiding out on the island? Could it be one of the ten?In the beginning the strangers were guarded and tried to hide the crime they committed, because of this everyone was a suspect. Only five “Little Indians” are left; Miss Vera Claythorne; Justice Wargrave; William Blore, Dr. Armstrong and; Philip Lombard. All had there suspicions, but they were all wrong.
In the end only two remained standing; Miss Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard. Vera grabbed the gun from Lombard and shot him thinking she won, that she killed him before he killed her. Miss Claythorne, guilt ridden, felt as though she should stay true to the rhyme, “One little Soldier Boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.” Who was the killer? Mr.
Lawrence Wargrave, the retired judge obsessed with death.Agatha Christie uses satire throughout this novel to draw attention to the social problems during her time. Agatha Christie used characters in the novel to attack the view of religion we still hold true. Throughout the novel she tested the moral values of the ten main characters.
She also highlights the group of strangers social problems within the story. In And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, delineates how the author addressed social problems of her day.And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie attacks her society’s view of religion. Emily Brent says, “The Lord is mindful of his own. Thou shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day. . . .
” (Christie 194). Throughout the novel Emily Brent is very disliked. She is portrayed as an older woman stuck in the past. Miss Brent believes a lady should be classy and always submissive to a man. She is also intensely religious.
Emily Brent feels as though she has never done anything wrong so, she will not die. In her head the Lord only punishes the wrong so, she has nothing to fear. Agatha Christie portrays a little of herself in this character. Christie is very strong in her faith and mind. Due to her views she is disliked by many and often questioned for the acts of literature she puts out.
Throughout the novel, Agatha Christie, allows us in on the thoughts of the characters and who they thought to be the murderer. Dr. Armstrong’s views of Miss Brent’s religious affiliation is made clear a many of times. Dr.
Armstrong thinks, ” Religious Mania, that’s the ticket. . . Looking at her, though, you can hardly believe it. . . Suppose I’m wrong. .
. .” (Christie 195). He has shown many times throughout the novel that Emily Brent’s belief system is what is driving her to commit the murders.
Very soon after he will realize he is wrong. As more and more people began to die, Vera Claythorne, an emotionally unstable young woman, was slowly going mad. She started to think that the murderer could not possibly be human. Philip Lombard replied to Vera Claythorne’s madness, ” Heavenly visitants, eh? No, I don’t believe in the supernatural. This business is human enough” (Christie 253). Throughout this novel, Agatha Christie toyed with how people view the supernatural world. She showed that people thought of supernatural events only comes from the minds of the mad.
In And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie tests the moral values and strength of the ten strangers that arrive on Soldier Island. Moral values is how one makes a decisions; right or wrong. Justice Wargrave admitted:I wanted something theatrical, impossible!I wanted to kill . . . Yes, I wanted to kill . .
. but–incongruous as it may seem to some–Iwas restrained and hampered by my innate sense of justice. The innocent must not suffer (Christie 287). Justice Wargrave was the murderer and felt the only way to justify murder is to kill the guilty.
In his twisted mind that was morally correct. Justice Wargrave’s confession shed light on how he went about the whole idea. He wanted there to be an order to the murders. Wargrave arranged it so that the least guilty died first and painlessly while, the intensely guilt ridden went through the emotional rollercoaster of Wargrave’s twisted game. The Judge said: Anthony Marston and Mrs.
Rogers died first, the one instantaneously the other in a peaceful sleep. Marston, I recognized, was a type born without that feeling of moral responsibility which most of us have. He was amoral–pagan. Mrs. Rogers, I had no doubt, has acted very largely under the influence of her husband. (Christie 292)Wargrave wanted to sulk in the madness and the chaos he created. Wargrave wanted the strangers to feel guilty for what they had done, they killed the innocent where he is killing the guilty.
At the end of the novel Wargrave had drove Vera Claythorne to do the unthinkable. He let her think Philip Lombard was the killer, to the point where she killed him before he could get to her. The Judge also made her feel that she can not be guilt free unless she stayed true to the nursery rhyme. ” One Little Soldier Boy left all alone. He went and hanged himself and then there were none” (Christie 268).
Justice Wargrave caused emotional strain to all of the characters, so much so it ended in a suicide that was driven by a change in morals. Agatha Christie highlighted social issues in society many times throughout, And Then There Were None. Throughout the story William Blore and Philip Lombard have had their ups and downs. Each had excused each other of being the murderer then tried to protect each other.
Through this relationship, Agatha Christie was showing that people are unable to make up their minds. They are quite gullible and are easily persuaded by there fellow peers.Lombard and Blore discussed, ” Key’s not in the door on the inside. ‘ That means he locked it on the outside and took it with him.
‘ Ordinary precaution to take. Well get him Blore . .
. This time, we’ll get him! ” (Christie 237). In this section of the novel Lombard and Blore are in agreement that Dr.
Armstrong is the killer and they will do anything to stop him. However just a day before they were accusing each other. Lombard’s revolver went missing and it was obvious only the killer knew where it was. Blore and Lombard argued, ” Seems to me its owner is the most likely person to know that. ‘You damned pig-headed fool! I tell you it’s been stolen from me!”‘ ( Christie 209).
The social issues Christie is addressing is how fast people will turn on each other. They could be given false information, but we are so gullible and believe it. Agatha Christie found a way to address the everyday problems she faced using satire. Christie showed her own belief system through Emily Brent, one of the ten strangers, and how people viewed her in her society. Agatha Christie also showed that our morals may waiver but they tend to stay in fair boundaries of what is right and wrong, however, morals are different for every person and she highlighted that through the character, Justice Wargrave. Ms. Christie also highlighted her society’s social issues by showing frequent arguments and disagreements between her characters that went on information they were given from the killer, whether true or false.
To show these points Agatha Christie used satire. She made the arguments funny and frequent, she portrayed different feelings and emotion through the attitude she described for a character all to highlight a specific problem in her society. She was incredibly bold in her opinions in this work and no one could say it better, “And then there were none” (Christie 268).