Study Guide

And Then There Were None Lies and Deceit

By Agatha Christie

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Lies and Deceit

Oh, boy. Someone call Cal Lightman, because we’ve got a whole nest of liars in And Then There Were None. And if you think it’s stressful trying to figure out if your boyfriend is lying to you, imagine that your life is at stake. So if everyone’s got something to hide, what is Christie saying about lies and deceit? Are only murderers liars—or is it possible that all of us—even those respectable old judges yelling at you about a traffic ticket—are sitting on some secrets?

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Does it matter whether or not the characters are lying about their pasts? Why or why not?
  2. Does Vera really believe that she couldn’t have saved Cyril when he drowned? Did she lie for Hugo, and why would she do that?
  3. How does Justice Wargrave fool everyone? Why doesn’t anyone seriously suspect that he’s the killer?
  4. Why does Dr. Armstrong go along with Justice Wargrave when he decides to fake his death?

Chew on This

Most of the characters don’t admit to any wrongdoings because they’re lying to themselves. Some, like Vera, have even managed to convince themselves that they haven’t done anything wrong.

Emily Brent is the only one who doesn’t lie, because she feels morally justified in her actions—she’s just so disgusted with the girl still that she doesn’t want to talk about it.

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