Course Hero. "And Then There Were None Study Guide." Course Hero. 3 Oct. 2017. Web. 1 June 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/And-Then-There-Were-None/>.
Course Hero. (2017, October 3). And Then There Were None Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/And-Then-There-Were-None/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "And Then There Were None Study Guide." October 3, 2017. Accessed June 1, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/And-Then-There-Were-None/.
Course Hero, "And Then There Were None Study Guide," October 3, 2017, accessed June 1, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/And-Then-There-Were-None/.
The boys at Scotland Yard are flummoxed by this case. There are 10 bodies on the island and no evidence at all of the murderer's presence. Even Vera Claythorne's suicide doesn't prove she was the murderer because the chair she stands on to hang herself has been placed back against the wall after her death. Someone must remain on the island. But there is no sign at all of anyone, no escape method, nothing. The SOS wasn't answered for a day, and the boat that arrived is the only boat on the island. There is no way anyone on the island could have escaped.
The reader finds out in this section that Isaac Morris is also dead, from an overdose of barbiturates. It seems Isaac Morris is not only an unscrupulous businessman and lawyer but a known drug dealer as well. He is the only person who could say how some of the guests were invited to the island, and he isn't alive to give evidence. The murderer made sure of that before he took the boat to the island. But if the murderer was one of the guests, how is it possible that there are 10 dead bodies and someone was alive after the supposed 10th death to move the chair? It appears to be an unsolvable mystery.
The theme of murder is everywhere in this section, and there's one more murder to hear about, that of Isaac Morris. The inspectors agree that it is too "opportune" that he is dead before this whole mess begins. They go through every possible configuration, order, and method of deaths to try to find out who the murderer is, but each murder is followed by a cleanup. The reader doesn't find out until this section that Vera's chair has been moved after she hangs herself. Suddenly, the author pulls the rug out from under the reader's theories, or the chair, as it were.
The symbolism of the storm factors into this section as well. The storm prevents anyone from coming out to the island for a while after the SOS signals have been seen, so nature provides the last bit of isolation that allows the murderer to finish the job. But who is this murderer? Not even the reader knows—yet. Christie is not about to leave readers hanging, so to speak. Agatha Christie mysteries always have a solution, and there's one more section of the novel to go.