The Bone-Chilling Mystery

By Celina X., 6th Grade

May 2020

Agatha Christie builds suspense throughout the novel And Then There Were None by incorporating foreshadowing and setting the story in a modern house. For example, just as the victims rode to the island an old man tells one of them, “Watch and pray. The day of judgment is at hand”(Christie 18). The day of judgment means that one day God will come down to earth to punish the people who sinned, and reward the people who have not. The example foreshadows that 10 people will die because they all did a crime, so they are being punished. This foreshadowing helps build suspense by making us want to figure out what terrible crime everyone did, and how they’re going to die. 

Another example of foreshadowing is the mysterious nursery rhyme on the wall of every bedroom.“ Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were Nine… One little soldier boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were None”(Christie 32). This nursery rhyme clearly states how each soldier boy, or in our case victims, gets murdered until there are none left. The poem suggestd how the story is going to play out, but the mysterious part is that we don’t know who the murder is and when or how the victums die.

Not only does the foreshadowing help create suspense but the setting also creates tension. When Lombard, Armstrong,and Blore start searching the island for any clues or people they realize they are alone. “The house was easily searched. They went through the few outbuildings first and then turned their attention to the building itself… Everything was plain and straight forward, a structure devoid of concealments” (Christie 114). This example demonstrates  that the “soldier boys” are living in a modern house, so everything is out in the open. Once they realize that the murderer is one of them they become paranoid. None of them are safe from death; they’re scared of each other making us, the readers, also fearful. 

 The author made the novel interesting and bone-chilling because of the suspense she builds by using foreshadowing and the setting.