Analysis of the Elements of Plot in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

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Novel misteri pembunuhan adalah salah satu genre buku yang sangat digemari oleh para pecinta karya sastra. Elemen yang sangat berpengaruh dalam novel misteri pembunuhan adalah plot atau alur cerita yang terdiri dari beberapa elemen yaitu suspense, surprise dan artistic unity. Suspense adalah suatu bagian dalam cerita yang menyebabkan para pembaca bertanya-tanya sehingga ingin terus membaca cerita tersebut sampai selesai. Surprise, adalah suatu bagian dalam cerita yang terjadi diluar ekspetasi pembaca, sedangkan artistic unity merupakan elemen yang mengikat suspense dan surprise agar tersusun sedemikian rupa sehingga alur cerita menjadi masuk akal.


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ABSTRACT ………...……….... ii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Background of the Study ………. 1

Statement of the Problem ……… 3

Purpose of the Study ………..……… 3

Method of Research ……… 3

Organization of the Thesis ……….. 4




APPENDICES Synopsis of And Then There Were None ……… 27


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The novel that I choose to analyze in my thesis is one of the best works of Agatha Christie, entitled And Then There Were None. The novel was originally named Ten Little Niggers in 1939, but subsequently renamed Ten Little Indians as the island described in the novel is also being renamed Indian island. The title was later being changed again into And Then There Were None because the American publishers rejected the previous title.

The novel tells a story about ten people who come to an island and get killed one by one, which creates a building tension during the course of the story. Christie has stated in her autobiography that this novel is “a better piece of craftsmanship than anything else I have written" (“Ten Little Niggers, Ten Little Indians, And Then There Were None”). She also stated that she wrote the novel after tremendous amount of planning. She wanted the ten people to die without the murders becoming ridiculous or being obvious. She said that this novel really pleased her because “It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact, it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it. It was well received and reviewed …” (“Ten Little Niggers, Ten Little Indians, And Then There Were None”). All her statements above make the novel more interesting and worth analyzing.


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plot is surprise, which is “proportional to the unexpectedness of what happens; it becomes pronounced when the story departs radically from our expectation.” (Perrine 47). The last element is the artistic unity which can be achieved when the events in the novels are “placed in the most effective order, which is not necessarily the chronological order, and, when rearranged in chronological order, should make a logical progression” (Perrine 49). The story can be called plausible and has a good artistic unity when the readers feel that “the plot has a quality of inevitability, given a certain set of characters and an initial situation” (Perrine 49).


1. What are the suspenses in the novel? 2. What are the surprises in the novel?

3. How is the artistic unity achieved in the novel?


The purposes of the study are 1. to show the suspenses in the novel; 2. to show the surprises in the novel;

3. to show how the artistic unity is presented in the novel.



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After analyzing the novel, I come to the conclusion that And Then There Were None is an extraordinary mystery novel by Agatha Christie. The novel starts

with ten guests who are invited to an unpopulated island by a mysterious host which is not there when they arrive. The mystery starts when suddenly there is a recording which mentions each of the guests' crimes from the past and one by one the guests are killed. The suspicion is directed to the mysterious host, Mr. Owen, but when they find out that there is no one else on the island, they realize that the murderer is one of them. The mystery is unsolved until all the guests die and a confession letter of the murderer is found. The letter reveals all his plans and it turns out that the murderer, Judge Lawrence Wargrave, is one of the guests. Christie’s story is well-told and from the brief explanation above, it can be seen that Christie has succeeded in keeping the tension until the very end of the story when the real surprise is revealed.


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when the readers start to wonder about the reason for the host to invite the ten guests to the island. The suspense is answered directly with the first. It turns out that they are all invited because they all have committed a crime in the past yet they are not found guilty. This fact is stated in the recording which is suddenly played after the first dinner in the house on the island.

The remaining guests start to wonder about the one who has invited them to the island, Mr. Owen, and suspect him as the murderer and this becomes the second suspense. But then, it is answered after they discuss and search for Mr. Owen on the island. They do not find any one else on the island and conclude that Mr. Owen is one of them. After the second suspense, the third suspense happens. It is when suddenly two of the guests die in a short period of time. It does not look like a murder so the reader at first wonder whether it is a coincidence or whether it is a murder. However, the second surprise answers the suspense directly when another guest is dead and from the way he dies it is clear that it is a murder.

From the last event above, the guests start to suspect one another and wonder who the murderer is as the story continues and one by one the guest is found dead. The repetition of the suspense is unavoidable because every time a guest falls as a victim, the questions about who the murderer is among the remaining guests and what his motives are keep occurring. That is why the fourth, sixth, seventh, eleventh supenses share the same question. However, these five suspenses are not answered directly until the end of the novel.


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according to the nursery rhyme hanging in every bedroom. In this suspense, the reader and also the remaining guests start to wonder about who is going to be the next victim and whether it is true that the murder will happen according to the nursery rhyme. This suspense is answered directly as the next event happens in the novel. Miss Brent is the next victim and the way she dies is in accordance with the nursery rhyme.

The tension keeps rising when one by one the guests are found dead and the readers will become more curious about who the murderer is. Later, a guest, Armstrong, is suddenly missing and the other guests start to suspect him as the murderer. The readers will also agree that the missing Armstrong could be the murderer in the eighth and ninth suspenses. However, the two remaining guests find Armstrong's dead body. The last two guests start suspecting each other but then they are all dead in the end and there is no clue about who the real murderer is.

The epilogue of the novel is the murderer's confession letter and it reveals the murderer’s motives, reasons, and plans in murdering all the guests. The readers’ expectation is answered quite surprisingly because it turns out that the real murderer, Judge Lawrence Wargrave, is one of the ten guests, who should have died in the middle of the story. Yet, the letter explains how he managed to do all his plans carefully and made all the murders possible to happen.


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Primary Source

Christie, Agatha. And Then There Were None. London: Harper Collins, 1993. Print.


Acocella, Joan. “Queen of Crime.” The New Yorker. 2010. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. “Agatha Christie.” Miss MARPLE. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.

“Agatha Christie Biography.” Biography Online. 2013. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. Geoghegan, Tom. “The Mystery of Agatha Christie.” BBC News. 2005. Web. 30

Apr. 2014.

Hepburn, Evelyn. “The Writing Style of Agatha Christie.” Creative Writing Software 101 . com. Web, 8 Sep. 2014.

Perrine, Laurence. Story and Structure. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1974. Print.