[Extra Quality] 10 Piccoli Indiani 11.pdf: Why Agatha Christie's Novel is Still Relevant and Captivating Today
[Extra Quality] 10 Piccoli Indiani 11.pdf: A Review of the Classic Mystery Novel by Agatha Christie
If you are a fan of mystery novels, you have probably heard of or read 10 Piccoli Indiani, also known as And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie. It is one of the best-selling books of all time, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide. It is also widely regarded as one of the most ingenious and suspenseful works of fiction ever written. But what makes this novel so special and captivating? In this article, we will explore the plot, the characters, and the themes of this masterpiece of mystery fiction.
[Extra Quality] 10 Piccoli Indiani 11.pdf
What is the novel about?
The novel is about ten strangers who are invited to a secluded island by a mysterious host named U.N. Owen. They soon discover that they have been lured there for a sinister purpose: they are all accused of committing crimes that have escaped justice, and they are going to be killed one by one according to a nursery rhyme called "Ten Little Indians". As they try to find out who is behind this deadly game and how to escape, they realize that there is no one else on the island except themselves, and that the killer must be one of them.
Why is it considered a classic?
The novel is considered a classic because it is a masterpiece of plot construction, character development, and psychological suspense. It has influenced many other writers and genres, such as detective fiction, horror, thriller, and dystopian fiction. It has also been adapted into several films, plays, radio dramas, television shows, video games, and comics. It is widely praised for its originality, creativity, and cleverness.
What is the meaning of the title?
The title of the novel has changed several times since its first publication in 1939. The original title was Ten Little Niggers, which was taken from the nursery rhyme that serves as the basis for the murders. However, this title was considered offensive and racist by many readers, especially in America, where it was changed to And Then There Were None. In Italy, the title was translated as Dieci Piccoli Neri, but it was later changed to Dieci Piccoli Indiani, which was also considered more politically correct. However, some editions still use the original title or other variations.
Summary of the plot
The invitation to Soldier Island
The novel begins with the introduction of the ten main characters, who are all traveling to a remote island off the coast of Devon, England. They have received invitations from a person they either do not know or have met only briefly, who claims to be their friend or acquaintance. The invitations vary according to the guests' backgrounds and interests, such as a job offer, a holiday, a reunion, or a social event. The guests are:
Justice Lawrence Wargrave, a retired judge who is known for his harsh sentences.
Vera Claythorne, a young and attractive governess who is looking for a summer job.
Philip Lombard, a former soldier and adventurer who is hired as a bodyguard.
Dr. Edward Armstrong, a successful surgeon who is invited to treat a patient.
William Henry Blore, a former police inspector who is hired as a private detective.
Emily Brent, an elderly and religious spinster who is offered a free stay.
General John Macarthur, a retired army officer who is invited to meet some old friends.
Anthony Marston, a rich and handsome playboy who is invited to a party.
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, the butler and the housekeeper of the island, who are hired by the owner.
The guests arrive at the island by boat, and are greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, who inform them that their host, U.N. Owen, has not arrived yet, but has left instructions for them. They also show them their rooms, where they find ten figurines of Indians on their mantelpieces. They also notice that there is a framed copy of the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians" on the wall of each room.
The mysterious voice and the nursery rhyme
After dinner, the guests gather in the drawing room, where they hear a gramophone record playing. The record is a voice that accuses each of them of being responsible for the death of someone in their past. The voice then says that they have been brought to the island to pay for their crimes, and that one of them will die that night. The guests are shocked and outraged by this accusation, and try to find out who is behind it. They discover that the record was set up by Mr. Rogers under the orders of U.N. Owen, whom he has never met or seen. They also realize that U.N. Owen is an anagram of "unknown", and that they have been tricked by a mastermind.
The guests then compare their invitations and stories, and find out that they all have something in common: they have all caused or contributed to the death of someone, either directly or indirectly, but have escaped justice or punishment by law or society. They also notice that the accusations match the first verse of the nursery rhyme:
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.
They decide to search the island for clues or signs of their host, but they find nothing. They also realize that they are cut off from the mainland, as there is no phone or radio on the island, and the boat that brought them there will not return until Monday. They agree to stay together and wait for help.
The first death: Anthony Marston
As they are drinking coffee in the drawing room, Anthony Marston suddenly chokes on his drink and falls dead on the floor. Dr. Armstrong examines him and finds that he has been poisoned by cyanide. The guests are horrified and suspect that one of them is the murderer. They check the figurines on their mantelpieces and find that one of them is missing. They also notice that Marston's death matches the second verse of the nursery rhyme:
Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.
The guests decide to lock up the cyanide and other drugs in a cupboard, and keep the key with Dr. Armstrong. They also agree to lock their doors at night and keep an eye on each other.
The second death: Mrs. Rogers
The next morning, Mrs. Rogers does not wake up. Dr. Armstrong examines her and finds that she has died in her sleep from an overdose of sleeping pills. The guests are shocked and scared by this second death, and wonder who is next. They check the figurines again and find that another one is missing. They also notice that Mrs. Rogers' death matches the third verse of the nursery rhyme:
The third death: General Macarthur
After breakfast, the guests decide to explore the island and look for clues. They split up into groups, except for General Macarthur, who stays behind on the terrace. He seems to be lost in his thoughts and does not want to talk to anyone. He is waiting for someone or something to come and end his life. He remembers how he sent his wife's lover, Arthur Richmond, to his death during the war, and how he never regretted it until now. He hears someone approaching him from behind, and thinks that it is Vera Claythorne, whom he likes and trusts. He turns around and sees a flash of metal before he falls dead on the ground. Someone has hit him on the back of the head with a heavy object. The guests find his body and are terrified by this third death. They check the figurines again and find that another one is missing. They also notice that General Macarthur's death matches the fourth verse of the nursery rhyme:
Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said he'd stay there and then there were seven.
The guests decide to search the island again, but they find nothing. They also realize that they have no evidence or clues to identify the killer, who could be anyone of them.
The fourth death: Mr. Rogers
The next morning, Mr. Rogers does not appear for breakfast. The guests look for him and find him in the woodshed, where he was chopping wood for the fire. He has been killed by an axe that was left on his neck. The guests are stunned and frightened by this fourth death. They check the figurines again and find that another one is missing. They also notice that Mr. Rogers' death matches the fifth verse of the nursery rhyme:
Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
The guests decide to keep together and not leave the house. They also try to figure out who is the most likely suspect among them, based on their motives and alibis. They suspect each other of lying or hiding something, and they start to lose trust and confidence in each other.
The fifth death: Emily Brent
After lunch, the guests sit in the drawing room, where they hear a buzzing sound. They see a bee flying around the room, and they try to catch it or drive it away. Emily Brent, who is sitting near the window, does not seem to care about the bee. She is reading her Bible and thinking about her past. She remembers how she fired her maid, Beatrice Taylor, for getting pregnant out of wedlock, and how Beatrice drowned herself in a river. She feels no remorse or pity for her, as she believes that she deserved her fate. She hears someone say "Don't move" behind her ear, and feels a sting on her neck. She falls unconscious on her chair. Dr. Armstrong examines her and finds that she has been injected with cyanide by a hypodermic syringe that was attached to the bee. The guests are shocked and appalled by this fifth death. They check the figurines again and find that another one is missing. They also notice that Emily Brent's death matches the sixth verse of the nursery rhyme:
Six little Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
The guests decide to search the house for weapons or clues, but they find nothing. They also realize that they have no way of protecting themselves from the killer, who could strike at any time or place.
The sixth death: Justice Wargrave
After dinner, the guests sit in the drawing room again, where they hear a gunshot from upstairs. They rush to the source of the sound and find Justice Wargrave lying on his bed, with a bullet wound on his forehead and a revolver in his hand. He is wearing a judge's robe and a wig that were found in a chest in his room. The guests are horrified and puzzled by this sixth death. They check the figurines again and find that another one is missing. They also notice that Justice Wargrave's death matches the seventh verse of the nursery rhyme:
Five little Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four.
The guests decide to move the body to another room and lock it up. They also try to make sense of the situation and find a logical explanation for the deaths. They wonder if Justice Wargrave was the killer, who committed suicide after killing the others, or if he was killed by someone else, who faked his suicide. They also wonder if there is a hidden meaning or a clue in the nursery rhyme or the figurines.
The seventh death: Dr. Armstrong
That night, the guests decide to stay together in the drawing room, where they have moved the furniture to form a barricade. They also agree to take turns watching over each other, and to keep the lights on. Vera Claythorne, Philip Lombard, and Dr. Armstrong are the first to take the watch, while William Blore and Thomas Rogers sleep on the sofa. Vera falls asleep on a chair, and wakes up to find that Dr. Armstrong is gone. She wakes up Lombard, who tells her that he went outside for a walk. They decide to wait for him to come back, but he does not return. The next morning, they wake up Blore and Rogers, and tell them what happened. They decide to look for Dr. Armstrong on the island, but they find nothing. They check the figurines again and find that another one is missing. They also notice that Dr. Armstrong's disappearance matches the eighth verse of the nursery rhyme:
Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
The guests decide to return to the house and wait for Dr. Armstrong to show up. They also suspect that he is the killer, who has tricked them into thinking that he is dead.
The eighth death: William Blore
After lunch, the guests hear a loud crash from outside. They go out and see that a marble clock shaped like a bear has fallen from the window of Vera's room and landed on William Blore's head, killing him instantly. The guests are stunned and terrified by this eighth death. They check the figurines again and find that another one is missing. They also notice that William Blore's death matches the ninth verse of the nursery rhyme:
Three little Indian boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
The guests decide to go back to the house and lock themselves in their rooms. They also realize that Dr. Armstrong is not the killer, as he could not have thrown the clock from Vera's room. They also realize that one of them must be the killer, and that they are in mortal danger.
The ninth death: Philip Lombard
That night, Vera Claythorne cannot sleep in her room, as she is haunted by the memory of Cyril Hamilton, a boy whom she let drown in order to inherit his money and marry his uncle, Hugo Hamilton, whom she loved. She decides to go to the drawing room, where she finds Philip Lombard waiting for her. He tells her that he has taken his revolver back from her room, where he had hidden it under a pillow. He also tells her that he is not afraid of death, as he has lived a life of adventure and danger. He admits that he was hired by a man named Morris to go to the island and bring some people with him, but he does not know who Morris was working for or what his plan was. He also admits that he was responsible for the death of twenty-one men in Africa, whom he abandoned to starvation and disease in order to save himself. He asks Vera if she loves him, and she says yes. He kisses her and tells her that they are the last two survivors on the island, and that they should die together.
Vera agrees with him, but she secretly thinks that he is lying and that he is the killer. She remembers how he killed a man named John Gorse in self-defense during a robbery, and how he showed no remorse or pity for him. She also remembers how he tried to kill her on the beach when they were looking for Dr. Armstrong's body, which they found later in the sea with a bullet wound in his chest. She decides to kill him before he kills her.
She pretends to be scared and asks him to hold her hand. She then grabs his revolver and shoots him in the chest. He falls dead on the floor. She checks the figurines again and finds that another one is missing. She also notices that Philip Lombard's death matches the tenth verse of the nursery rhyme:
Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. The tenth death: Vera Claythorne
Vera Claythorne is the last person alive on the island. She feels a sense of relief and triumph, as she thinks that she has escaped the killer and survived the ordeal. She also feels a surge of love for Hugo Hamilton, whom she hopes to see again. She decides to go back to her room and wait for help to arrive.
She goes to her room and finds a noose hanging from the ceiling. She also sees a chair under the noose and a note on the table. The note is from U.N. Owen, who reveals himself to be the mastermind behind the murders. He explains his motive and his method in detail, and he challenges her to hang herself as the final act of his plan. He also tells her that he has arranged for a bottle containing his confession to be found by a fishing boat after his death.
Vera reads the note and feels a wave of despair and horror. She realizes that she has been fooled and manipulated by U.N. Owen, who was none other than Justice Wargrave, who faked his death and killed Dr. Armstrong and the others. She also realizes that she will never see Hugo again, as he hates her for killing Cyril. She decides to hang herself, as she sees no other way out. She puts the noose around her neck and kicks away the chair. She dies by strangulation. She checks the figurines again and finds that the last one is missing. She also notices that her death matches the last verse of the nursery rhyme:
One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Analysis of the novel
The themes of justice, guilt, and punishment
One of the main themes of the novel is justice, guilt, and punishment. The novel explores the idea of moral justice versus legal justice, and how different people have different standards and definitions of justice. The novel also explores the idea of guilt, and how different people cope with or deny their guilt for their actions or inactions. The novel also explores the idea of punishment, and how different people deserve or receive different kinds of punishment for their crimes or sins.
The novel shows that justice is not always served by law or society, as some people can escape or evade justice for their crimes or sins. The novel also shows that justice can be subjective or arbitrary, as some people can judge or condemn others for their crimes or sins, while ignoring or justifying their own. The novel also shows that justice can be cruel or excessive, as some people can inflict or suffer harsh or disproportionate punishment for their crimes or sins.
The novel shows that guilt is not always felt or acknowledged by people, as some people can feel no remorse or regret for their crimes or sins. The novel also shows that guilt can be selective or rationalized, as some people can feel guilty only for some of their crimes or sins, while ignoring or excusing others. The novel also shows that guilt can be overwhelming or unbearable, as some people can feel too much guilt for their crimes or sins, and seek relief or escape from it.
The novel shows that punishment is not always fair or appropriate for people, as some people can receive no punishment or too little punishment for their crimes or sins. The novel also shows that punishment can be random or unpredictable, as some people can receive punishment for their crimes or sins at any time or place, without warning or explanation. The novel also shows that punishment can be fatal or irreversible, as some people can receive punishment that leads to their death or destruction.
The motifs of isolation, order, and chaos
Another theme of the novel is isolation, order, and chaos. The novel explores the idea of physical isolation versus social isolation, and how different people react to or cope with being isolated from others. The novel also explores the idea of order versus chaos, and how different people try to create or maintain order in a chaotic situation.
The novel shows that isolation can be voluntary or involuntary for people, as some people choose to isolate themselves from others for various reasons, while others are forced to isolate themselves from others by circumstances. The novel also shows that isolation can be beneficial or harmful for people, as some people enjoy or benefit from being isolated from