And Then There Were None Memory and the Past
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Memory and the Past
For the characters in And Then There Were None, the past is definitely not past—even though it definitely has some death in it. In fact, the whole novel takes place in two different times: one on the island when everyone is trying to stay alive, and the other in the characters’ memories, as they relive their crimes over and over (and over and over and over). And thanks to that booming voice on the gramophone, everyone else gets to relive them at the same time.
Questions About Memory and the Past
- Do you think Vera ever stops thinking about what happened to Cyril and how Hugo knew? How do you think Hugo feels about all this? Does he continually relive it, too?
- Do characters like Emily Brent and Philip Lombard think often about what they did? Why or why not?
- Why does Justice Wargrave kill the characters in a specific order? Does he want some to relive their memories more? Is reliving the past punishment enough, in some cases?
Chew on This
Even though Vera survives to the end and could conceivably escape, she kills herself to escape her past.
Justice Wargrave isn’t content to let the past stay in the past. For him, a crime stays fresh until it’s punished.
And Then There Were None Memory and the Past Study Group
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