Study Guide

And Then There Were None Mortality

By Agatha Christie

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The party games in And Then There Were None aren’t just silly sleepover pranks where someone puts your hand into a glass of water or puts Cheetos on your face: in the sleepover on Soldier Island, people die one by one. From Anthony Marston’s last choking breath to Vera’s suicide, death comes for all the characters, including Wargrave. (“Grave” is even in his name.) For Christie, death—like guilt—is just part of the human condition.

Questions About Mortality

  1. Why does Vera kill herself at the end? She could have gone away (since she died last), but instead she opted to die like everyone else.
  2. Does the death of his or her victims haunt everyone in the story? Why or why not?
  3. Is death seen as good, bad, or neutral in the book? Explain your reasoning.
  4. Why does Justice Wargrave opt to die at the end too? Does he think that he deserves death?
  5. Is death a worse punishment for a young man like Anthony Marston than it is for an old man like General Macarthur?

Chew on This

In And Then There Were None, death is inevitable. No matter how clever or savvy the characters are, they’re all going to die.

The deaths of the ten characters in the novel are presented a game, whereas the deaths of their victims are presented as tragedies.

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