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Christie’s And Then There Were None: Chapters One And Two Analysis

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And Then There Were None was released in the United Kingdom as Ten Little Indians in keeping with the title of Agatha Christie’s novel. The movie is a 1945 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel by the same name. The story is about ten strangers who are invited to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. The U.N.Owens were absent the whole visit but they left a record to be played on their behalf which had the ten strangers’ little secrets of murders. The film is directed by René Clair, produced by René Clair and Harry M. Hopkin and starred by Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston and Louis Hayward. It makes a perfect blend of mystery and crime. This paper will compare and contrast the first scene in the movie with the first and second chapters in the book.

Agatha Christie’s style in mystery is always unusual to the mystery genre. She introduces the characters to the readers individually and in details. She makes the readers get indulged with the character’s flow since the beginning of the novel till the end. In And Then There Were None, she managed to introduce to us how the characters were linked to U.N.Owen and how they are linked to each other. The audience by the first two chapters know the nature of the characters, their jobs, their thoughts about their journey to Sticklehaven and Indian Island which increases the difficulty in recognizing the true murderer. She also increases the suspense by letting the audience through the characters’ thoughts which make them have no doubt or suspect any of them as a murderer.

In addition, Christie gives the audience the weapon of knowledge. She makes them know more in order to expect more. For example, she made the audience know more about the characters, like Emily Brent and General Macarthur, believe that they are going to Indian Island to visit old friends and others, like Blore and Lombard, believe that they are hired to do some jobs on the island, while the audience can conclude that the characters are being deceived. Also, she gives her readers the advantage of knowing that there is a deeper, hidden motive behind all these characters while the characters are surely convinced with the minor reasons for each of them to accept and actually visit this island.

The fact that she gives a hint for the characters’ past makes the readers believe that each character is not only a potential victim but also could be a potential suspect. For example, Vera recalls being declared not guilty by a coroner’s inquest, which takes place after a suspicious death. Also, Lombard thinks about the fact that he has not always followed the law, but “always got away with it”; General Macarthur’s thoughts turn to a “damned rumour” that has resolute him for years. All this gives the reader the privilege to be alongside the detective and solve the case with him.

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On the other hand, the 1945’s movie adaptation for the novel did not have a good introduction for the characters. The opening scene showed the center point of the whole movie, the ten figurines of Indians in a circle, which was a mystery for the audience and not related to the next scene. The following scene started with all the characters on the boat, not known for the audience nor for each other which is totally different than the book. They started looking at each other in different ways which gave the audience a glance about each character’s personality. For example, Vera Claythorne had a scarf flying around her neck which dabbed on Philip Lombard’s face, that was their first interaction as she smiled to him and took it on the other side; here comes the second interaction also between Vera and Dr. Armstrong also by her scarf dabbing on to his face. Now the audience’s first impression that Vera is a nice lady and same impressionfor both Dr. Armstrong and Philp Lombard. UnlikeVera, Emily Brent was so firm and didn’t like dealing with any on the boat.

How the characters got introduced for the audience was plain, with no details, no previous history about each character. They did not know each other so they started briefly introducing each other to themselves in a random way. Therefore, the audience did not have much of an advantage like the readers of the book. The movie made the audience to explore each character on its own path with the character flow through the scenes. The audience did not know what to think with it and expect something from each character and the character does another thing. The element of knowledge which cooks suspense was missing.

When it comes to music and customs, the music was by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and it was very suitable for each scene. It reflected each character’s feelings and engaged the audience with the character’s emotions. Also, the customs managed to reflect each character’s age and the time of the day. For example, if it’s time to sleep, they switch to their gowns and pajamas and if it’s noon, they wear their dresses and suits.

To sum this up, the book had its own style and was very detailed which made the reader a writer too. The book showed how Christie thinks and her talent was very obvious. Also, the movie conveyed the story in an exciting way because acting always conveys the facial expressions of the actors, along with the customs and the music which implies the action that is happening. The book was much better than the movie, it made the readers more engaged with the story.

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Christie’s And Then There Were None: Chapters One And Two Analysis. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from
“Christie’s And Then There Were None: Chapters One And Two Analysis.” Edubirdie, 18 Mar. 2022,
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