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Free Study Guide-And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie-Free Summary
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OVERALL ANALYSES

CHARACTER ANALYSIS

Major Characters

Justice Lawrence Wargrave

Justice Wargrave is a retired judge, invited to vacation on Indian Island by an old acquaintance. The gramophone recording accuses him of convicting an innocent prisoner to death, but he maintains that the man was guilty and that he never met him before the trial. Once the murders begin, Wargrave is one of the calmest of the group, acting as leader and helping to organize everyone’s thoughts on what to do. Yet his thoughtful demeanor masks his true insanity, as Wargrave is the surprise antagonist. He cleverly falsifies his own death with the help of Dr. Armstrong, then kills the doctor so that he can continue to murder the others. When his true identity is revealed at the end, Wargrave becomes the most important character of the book.

Vera Claythorne

Vera Claythorne is a young, single school teacher hired to work on Indian Island for the summer holidays as Mrs. U.N. Owen’s secretary. She is moderately attractive, and was recently abandoned by her lover when his nephew drowned under her care. She was officially exonerated of any wrongdoing, but the gramophone correctly accuses her of plotting to let the boy die. Vera takes pride in keeping a level head but the murders on the island gradually drive her to hysteria. She is the last survivor of the victims, and finally hangs herself in a state of psychosis in the noose Wargrave prepares for her.


Philip Lombard

Philip Lombard, a former army captain, has a history of escaping alive from dangerous situations. He is hired to travel to Indian Island for a week, without being told any details. He readily admits to the gramophone’s accusation that he abandoned a group of natives to starve in the jungle. On Indian Island, he gradually loses his confidence to outlive the trap, and is shot by Vera Claythorne when they become the last to survive and both believe each other is the murderer.

Emily Brent

Emily Brent is an old spinster, invited for a free vacation on the island by an acquaintance she can’t quite remember. Pious and self-righteous, her quick judgment of others makes the other characters believe she suffers from "religious mania," and could likely be the murderer. The gramophone accuses her of allowing a young woman in her care to commit suicide; Miss Brent admits to casting out her unmarried servant when she became pregnant, but insists the girl’s death was her own fault because of her immoral behavior. Although she refuses to believe she could be a victim on Indian Island, she succumbs to an injection of poison by a hypodermic syringe. Her death is ironic since it occurs immediately after the group discusses her as a suspect.

General John Macarthur

A retired army general who fought in the last great war, General Macarthur has been living an isolated life since shunning his military friends for fear of gossip about his past. The gramophone reveals that he sent his wife’s lover to die on a dangerous military mission. He later admits this, recalling how his relationship with his wife changed after that and how she died only a few years later. He is the first to believe that a murderer is conspiring to kill the whole group, and since he is old and lonely, comes to welcome death on Indian Island.

Dr. Edward Armstrong

Dr. Armstrong is a confident physician at the zenith of his career. He is hired to travel to Indian Island to check on Mrs. U.N. Owen’s health. Although he never admits it to anyone, he did indeed kill a patient on the operating table many years ago when he operated drunk. As his medical mistake from the past is revealed to all on the island, the others doubt his sincerity and fear the tools of his trade - medicines and syringes. He is pushed into the sea and murdered by Justice Wargrave after foolishly agreeing to help the judge find the "true" killer.

Anthony Marston

The young and handsome man arrives in a fast, expensive car, impressing everyone from the start. He is the first to be murdered, however, signaling to the others that even the strong and beautiful are vulnerable to their mortality. Marston shows no remorse for his alleged crime - running over two youths with his car - and this elicits contempt from the group.

William Blore

Blore is an ex-inspector with the police force, a large and awkward man but sharp and on his guard nonetheless. He is hired to travel to Indian Island to keep an eye on the other guests. He conceals his true identity at the start but is forced to reveal it when the murders begin. The gramophone accuses him of sending an innocent man to prison - where he died of poor health - by giving false testimony as the policeman in the case. Since Blore benefited from the conviction with a promotion, the others doubt his innocence. He is one of the last to be killed, ironically immediately after Lombard and Vera Claythorne discuss him as being the likely murderer.

Thomas Rogers

Rogers and his wife are hired by U.N. Owen to serve the other guests on Indian Island. The couple impresses the group with their attentiveness and excellent cooking, but become victims along with everyone else. The gramophone accuses them of together allowing their former employer to die. Although they never confess to the group, many suspect their guilt since the old woman’s death brought them money from her will.

Ethel Rogers

Mrs. Rogers appears nervous and fearful to the other guests from the start, and drops a tea tray in her fright when the gramophone accuses her of murder. She exits the plot early as the second victim of the covert murderer.

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