Murder on the Orient Express
by Agatha Christie
Murder on the Orient Express Theme of Justice and Judgment
A jury is made up of twelve citizens who walk into a courtroom and decide whether a defendant is guilty or innocent. Murder on the Orient Express plays with the same idea. There are twelve people on the train who act as jury and executioner of a criminal. Justice is served in a way that it wasn't guaranteed in the courts. Justice is often juxtaposed with revenge in this novel, forcing us to think about the ways in which the two are similar and different.
Questions About Justice and Judgment
- How many stab wounds does Dr. Constantine find on Mr. Ratchett? What is the significance of this number?
- Why doesn't Ratchett serve any jail time for the murder of Daisy Armstrong?
- Why does Princess Dragomiroff say that "strict justice" has been done in Ratchett's murder? Do you agree with her?
- What is the difference between justice and revenge? Which feeling motivates the twelve passengers on the Orient Express?
- Are the twelve passengers on the Orient Express a fair replacement for an actual jury? Why or why not?
Chew on This
When it comes to justice, an eye should be given for an eye.
It was wrong of Poirot, at the beginning of the novel, to refuse to help Ratchett solely on the basis of Ratchett's appearance.
Dr. Constantine and M. Bouc made the right decision when they decided not to tell the truth to the police.