Study Guide

And Then There Were None Community

By Agatha Christie

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“I think the time has come for us to pool our information. It would be well, I think, for everybody to come forward with all the information they have regarding the owner of this house.” (3.214)

Justice Wargrave’s just messing with all the characters, but they all gladly hand over what information they have. With only ten of them on the island, it’s the only choice they have for survival. Well, not that they do have any chance. But if they did, this would be it.

“We’d better rope in Blore to help us. He’ll be a good man in a pinch.” (7.175)

Well, this is actually encouraging: the victims start working together right away. After all, even if the killer is one of them, there’s still strength in numbers.

“I hope lunch will be satisfactory. There is cold ham and cold tongue, and I’ve boiled some potatoes. And there’s cheese and biscuits, and some tinned fruits.” (8.79)

Murder or no murder, you can’t let that social order crumble. His wife may be dead, but Rogers is still going to be boiling potatoes and serving tongue right up until the end.

Receiving an assent to this, the curtains were drawn and the lamps turned on. The room grew more cheerful. A little of the shadow lifted. Surely, by tomorrow, the storm would be over and someone would come—a boat would arrive… (10.117)

Even when they are convinced that the killer is one of them, the characters in And Then There Were None are still fully capable of socializing and hanging out with each other. That’s the British stiff upper lip in action.

Tea! Bless ordinary everyday afternoon tea! Philip Lombard made a cheery remark. Blore responded. Dr. Armstrong told a humorous story. Mr. Justice Wargrave, who ordinarily hated tea, sipped approvingly. (10.123)

Ah, the British. Even in the midst of mysterious murders and forced isolation on an island, there’s always time for tea.

She turned and went across the yard into the kitchen saying: “Miss Brent and I are getting you breakfast. Can you—bring some sticks to light the fire?” (11.75)

Rogers may have just been killed while chopping sticks, but that doesn’t mean the efficiency machine of Soldier Island is going to slow down. Vera has a brief fit of hysterics but quickly gets it together and heads back to making breakfast. Hey, even murderers have to eat.


“Thanks, can I cut you some bread?”

Six people, behaving normally at breakfast… (11.176-178)

The characters are awfully polite to each other. We’re pretty sure if we were in this situation, we’d be throwing the marmalade and bread up in the air as we ran screaming away from the table. But then, we’re not British.

“Only this. I propose that the doctor’s supply of drugs, my own sulphonal tablets, your revolver and everything else in the nature of drugs or firearms should be collected together and placed in a safe place.” (12.139)

Clever Wargrave creates order amongst the terrified people on Soldier Island in order to make them feel like he’s working with them. Like they’re one big happy family facing off against the murder—who just happens to be him. Teamwork!

There was little pretence now—no formal veneer of conversation. They were five enemies linked together by a mutual instinct of self-preservation. (13.4)

We’re getting a definite Hunger Games vibe here. Alliances are fine when there are a lot of you, but it’s hard to continue to be buddy-buddy as the numbers shrink. When there are only five people left, who do you trust?

By tacit consent, they had all adopted a plan of campaign. They all sat in the big drawing room. Only one person left the room at a time. The other four waited till the fifth returned. (13.13)

Trust the British to come up with rules even in the midst of a murderous free-for-all. People may be dying, but there are rules and courtesies to be observed. Keep those gloves and hats on, people!

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