- Analyse how the ending of the text reinforced or challenged your understanding of one or more
Note: “Ideas” may refer to character, theme, or setting.
A big enough obstacle can question the strongest of beliefs and thoughts. Agetha Christie’s murder mystery “And Then There Were None” delves into proving this point As It reinforces the reader’s ideas that Justice is subjective and will always be served. Plus death is fragile and perspectives of death. It does so through its unique ending, literary devices, key characters and language features.
The manuscript’s ending challenged the whole idea of Justice completely as it proved that Justice is subjective. Wargrave proved this as his definition of justice is more intense than the justice system. For example, his motivations said he “Gathered killers the law could not touch”, in his eyes anyone who took life deserved punishment no matter the degree of guilt. Because the murders were so light and well planned out the justice system wasn’t able to prove their guilt and in some people’s or society’s eyes would be innocent. But as Wargrave is seen as absolute justice combined with his “Desire to Kill” he takes matters into his own hands. Wargrave quoted from the bible when he said “Be sure thy sin, will find thee out” which means whatever someone does they are bound to be found out in the end which challenges the reader’s concepts about justice well also reinforcing that justice is subjective.
The second part of Justice that was challenged for the reader was that Justice is always served. It challenged this thought as what Justice Wargrave served might not have been due in some people’s eyes for some of the members on the island but he made sure it was served regardless. Some could argue that Justice potentially wasn’t served to the correct degree, for example, the Rodgers was described as a stale, Ghost-like couple who you wouldn’t think to hurt a fly. And their degree of murder was tremendously lighter than the rest as they gave the wrong medicine to an already dying elderly. Even though the light severity of the couple’s crime the ending just reinforced that justice will always catch up to you and be served no matter how innocent you think you are. A literary device used to point out that justice is always served would be the “Red Herring” This was in the original nursery rhyme and was used to lure Blore out, Wargrave states that “A Red Herring, which he swallowed - or rather swallowed him”. He knew that no matter your profession, status or degree of justice should always be served and in Wargrave’s perspective, Blore got what he deserved.
The ending of the novel also challenges the reader’s idea of death, more specifically how death is so fragile. This was illustrated through heavy symbolism, quotes, and language techniques. A prime example of symbolism used to display how fragile death can be would be the china figures in the dining room. Each time a member of the island died a chine figure would disappear or be smashed. They represented how insignificant and small people’s lives are, and how easily they can be taken away. The last sentence of the manuscript says “And they will find ten dead bodies, and an unsolved mystery on Soldier island”, by The tone Wargrave writes this he doesn’t refer to any of the ten dead bodies as individual people, he doesn’t have much regard for them or himself when he just says “Ten dead bodied”. This reinforces the idea of how life is so fragile and insignificant that he treats the game of mystery as more important than the souls who lost their lives criminals or not.
The last idea that the manuscript ending reinforces is the perspectives of death, more specifically how vastly different they can be for some people. Characters like Justice Wargrave and Lombard prove this through the way they perceive death. A quote backing this up would be when Lombard is explaining the reasoning for his crime and states “Self Preservation is a man’s first duty, and natives don’t mind dying, you know, they don’t feel about it as Europeans do” This shows how little thought he has about other people especially whenhe sees them be lower than him, all he cares about is making sure he doesn’t die which ends up being the irony as he is shot with the revolver he brought to the island. Justice Wargrave’s perspective is widely different from others. He said in the manuscript “I have a definite sadistic delight in seeing or causing death” This pared with his strong sense of justice motivated him to kill the island full of murderers. Although he caused death he knew two wrongs didn’t make a right and even though he was killing unproven murderers he was still the cause of death meaning he had to take his own life to serve absolute justice. Unlike Lombard, he didn’t regard self-preservation as his first duty proving that the ending reinforced the idea of how deaths percieved and how it’s so drastically different depending on the person.
Overall Agetha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” reinforces multiple important ideas including Justice is subjective, justice will always be served, deaths fragile, and the perspectives of death. Its intense manuscript ending helped prove this along with clever literary devices, language features, and key characters.