Characterization in and Then There Were None
Katherine Quimbayo Set 6 September 16, 2010 Characterization in And Than There Were None Agatha Christie uses characterization to show the evil side of human nature, in her mystery novel And Then There Were None, through three important characters, which include Vera Claythorne, Philip Lombard, and Justice Wargrave. Christie shows characterization through Vera by making her a Dynamic character. Vera changes through the course of the work by influence of the life threatening situation that is going on around her.
Furthermore, Vera changes from a proper and polite woman, to a woman who will do anything to survive. “Vera Claythorne, tired by some recent strenuous term at school, thought to herself-‘Being a games mistress in a third-class school isn’t much of a catch… If only I could get a job at some decent school. ’” This quote shows Vera’s hardworking and stringent personality, its shows that Vera is a proper and educated woman (4). “… That is was Vera Claythorne. That she shot Lombard, took the revolver back to the house, toppled the marble block onto Blore and then-hanged herself. The following quotation explains Vera’s endurance toward the end of the novel (258). Both of theses quotes symbolize Vera’s dynamic nature changing from a polite woman to someone determined to survive. In Christie’s novel she also shows the evil side of human nature in Philip Lombard.
Christie shows characterization in Lombard by making him a round character. In the novel Lombard is depicted as a chivalrous and aplomb character, although toward the end of the book his chivalrousness turns out to be one of his weaknesses and causes him a fatal end. Philip Lombard, that upon a date in February, 1932, you were guilty of the death of twenty-one men, members of an East African tribe. ” This quote explains how Lombard is brought to Indian Island therefore showing more insight about his character than any of the other guests. This quote also symbolizes that although Lombard is a courteous person he is also complex and contradictory in the fact that he is charming but is also capable of murder (43). “Automatically Vera pressed the trigger….. Lombards leaping body stayed poised in mid-spring, then crashed heavily to the ground. This passage enlightens the fact that Lombards old-fashioned attitude and courtesy toward women, and not believing that women are capable of murder enables Vera to steal Lombards gun and kill him (240).
Not only does Christie intertwine characterization in her novel to show the evil side of human nature in Vera and Lombard, but also in Justice Wargrave. Wargraves character in this novel is portrayed as a flat personality. In this novel Christie does not speak much about Wargrave, she only reveals one or two personality traits. In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in the Times. ” This passage shows only a few characteristics about the identity of Wargrave, it shows that he is a wealthy man being able to ride in a first-class carriage, and it also shows that he is an ex officio (1). “Only Mr. Justice Wargrave and Miss Brent seemed comparatively unmoved. ” This passage also enlightens the fact that Christie made Wargrave is a flat character.
In this novel it does not show Wargrave to participate in many group discussion nor does it show his fear in this situation. In applying this characterization to Wargrave it allows the other characters to take no account of Wargrave to be responsible for the murders of the other guests (44). In conclusion, to show the evil side of human nature Christie uses different characterization for each of the characters, some of which include, Vera Claythorne, Philip Lombard, and Justice Wargrave.
During the course of the novel all three characters start to slightly show the evil side of human nature, whether it be for survival, or for revenge. In the case of Vera Claythorne, she shows a dynamic character in changing from a proper, well educated woman to someone who thrives for survival. Philip Lombard is portrayed as a round character, in the fact that Christie makes the reader aware of a variety of Lombards traits, one of which includes Lombards courtesy towards women, which in the end turns out to be a weakness and the cause of death.
The last character that shows evil in human nature is Justice Wargrave, who is portrayed as a flat character. Christie only portrays the character to be a wealthy man, which allows this character to be quintessential to the plot and the story line in being the murderer. In epitome, these three characters show that even though people may seem pleasant and courteous, they will do anything to survive.