Study Guide

Thomas and Ethel Rogers in And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie

Thomas and Ethel Rogers

Thomas and Ethel Rogers are the perfect servants—unless you’re an old lady with money, in which case they just might withhold medication so you’ll die and leave them money.

Luckily Wargrave is going to make sure they pay for it. Thomas and Ethel Rogers run Soldier Island (until they can’t anymore) at the instruction of Mr. Owen, whom they’ve never met. They are extremely good servants who go about their business as instructed, even when it becomes obvious that this isn’t your ordinary weekend party. Thomas keeps on calling them down for meals and chopping wood for the fire—which is where his number is finally up.

The other guests are quite impressed by his ability to carry out his duties even in a frightening time. Lombard says what everyone is thinking: “Wonderful animal, the good servant. Carries on with an impressive countenance” (8.200).

What we think, however, is that Christie just might be commenting a little satirically on how English class values are pretty screwy: rather than worry about saving their necks or repenting for their crimes, they’re all trying to keep the status quo literally until death.