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Themes

Reason and logic are detective Hercule Poirot's weapons of choice. Poirot relies upon his insight into human nature, his powers of observation, and the deductive method in order to get to the truth of things. As you will notice, he is always careful in advancing his points and never makes false assumptions. In this way, the novel offers us an example of incredibly sound judgment. Poirot, after all, does unravel the complicated plot in the end. We might also say that though the novel is about a murder, it is optimistic in that it has great faith in the power of orderly reason to resolve complicated problems – and to see through to the truth of things.

Questions About Reason and Logic

  1. What sort of reputation does Poirot have as a detective?
  2. What are "little grey cells"?
  3. Do you think Poirot's strict reliance on logic and observation could ever be a disadvantage for him?
  4. Did you ever notice any holes in Poirot's logic? If so, when?
  5. How does Poirot compare to other famous literary detectives, such as Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe's Auguste Dupin, Nancy Drew, or even John Grisham's Theodore Boone? How does Poirot compare to modern TV detectives?

Chew on This

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

Reason and logic don't come naturally to any of the characters in the novel, except for Poirot.

While we can think our way through some things, life is not lived solely in the head.

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