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Themes

This novel is one big lie! Poirot eventually discovers that all of the characters in it are putting him on and acting out their parts to cover up the murder. But wait. Aren't all novels made up? Such is the nature of fiction. <em>Murder on the Orient Express</em> very interestingly aligns fiction writing with lies and deceit. Notice the many references to playacting and literature. It asks us to think about the differences between the two – and the similarities.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Who was the women in the red kimono?
  2. How does Poirot figure out Mary Debenham's connection to the Armstrong family?
  3. Which passengers involved in the plot have the most difficult time carrying out their assigned roles?
  4. Which characters true identities surprised you most?
  5. Why do the characters put on such elaborate acts? Why are their disguises so important?
  6. Why did Cassetti change his name to Ratchett?
  7. When would Poirot put on an act? What was the point of all of his acting?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In this book, lying, like murder, is justified if it's for a good cause.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

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