Question: Analyse how one or more ideas challenged your understanding of society.
It is proven difficult in the 21st century that necessary acts of justice, are not always executed in the correct and most vulnerable way possible. Agatha Christie’s brilliant novel ‘And Then There Were None highlights the implications of everchanging modern-day society and key ideas supporting this. In the text, the key idea of Justice is consistently changing into good and bad perceptions of which character is being affected by it. Our main antagonist, Justice Wargrave, feeds off the satisfaction of providing Justice to those who have made mistakes in their previous lives. Christie brings in the overall idea of changing society into the text and uses key ideas to challenge readers understanding of the society around us.
The key idea of Justice challenged my understanding of society because of the intense way Justice Wargrave constantly needs justice in his life to be satisfied. An example of this is the list of victims and the order in which he created it. In Wargrave’s eyes, Justice needed to be served to each and every victim because of past mistakes and accidents. In this case, Justice was considered death. It was important to Wargrave that the guests who died first had the least about of guilt for their crimes and experience the least amount of physiological trauma. This is a contrast to the guests who were murdered last and who held the most guilt and remorse for their actions. These guests experienced more trauma from fear rather than physical trauma from the crime committed. This list was extremely important to Wargrave as he would feel like his job was not complete resulting in unhappiness and dissatisfaction. The list showed Wargrave’s interesting perception of guilt. The key idea of Justice links to modern society because Justice is sought in almost every wrong committed and yet almost never gets given the correct way. An example of this is innocent people getting assumed of crimes they did not commit. Judges, police, and law and order often only listen to the most powerful people in the room. This is similar to how Wargrave craves power/control.
Another key idea that is challenged by an understanding of society is Power/Control. In modern-day society, the people who are heard the most are often the ones who hold the most power/ control and popularity. They are the ones who control situations and lead others into place. Christie depicted Wargrave to be a character with these traits. Wargrave holds himself high with responsibility and power using it to control the future of the guests on the island. This is shown multiple times throughout the text once when Wargrave reached his ‘death’, he was still able to cause the guest’s unbearable mental trauma leading them to want to reach their final deaths sooner. Manipulation is highly apparent in Wargrave’s behaviour. Christie uses this technique to relate important thoughts and knowledge back to readers. Wargrave’s behaviour can link to the idea of human nature. It is in human nature to manipulate others into what you want or trick others into doing things for your own benefit.
During the text, Christie introduces readers to the idea of Revenge. Revenge is described as ‘The action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.’ Wargrave believes that inflicting revenge on the victims with providing them with the revenge that they deserve for their crimes. Christie explores the line that divides people who act unjustly from those who want to restore justice. This links back to the author’s purpose of the text which suggests that bad behaviour does not necessarily make someone bad and the way enforcing is handled doesn’t make someone good. It is extremely important for readers to understand the author’s purpose of the text to fully comprehend Wargrave’s depiction of revenge. The idea of revenge helps me to understand society deeper. It is in human nature to have an urgent feeling to inflict revenge on others who have wronged you or others you care about. This trait will be conveyed in society throughout time as humans evolve. Wargrave expresses many psychologically and mental problems to readers about the ways he wants to inflict harm on others for his satisfaction.
The novel ‘And then There Were None is a tremendous piece of text that challenged my understanding of modern-day society. Christie utilises her choices of words and techniques in the text for readers to fully understand the wider implications of the text. The key ideas of Justice, Power/Control and Revenge were able to expand my thoughts thinking about human nature in teenagers and young adults. The text teaches that doing the right thing (on your own) may not necessarily be the right thing to do in the most effective way. The author did an excellent job of extending the author’s purpose into wider implications of the text making it easy for readers to pick up on the important lessons and teachings wanting to be taught.