And Then There Were None is a book about many mysteries. It is all about planning and plotting deaths and trying to solve the mystery behind them. Many different themes reoccur throughout this novel. One main theme that truly seems to either severely affect or have no affect at all on the characters is guilt. Guilt plays a huge role when it comes to the deaths in this book. Many characters struggle a great deal with it. Vera Claythorne is one of the main characters who has the hardest time with feeling guilt in her life.
She is accused of killing a little boy named Cyril. Cyril was drowning and she tried to save him, but the mystery was whether or not she truly tried to save him. Vera is nervous to go back on the sea because it reminds her of her crime. She tries really hard not to harp on her past but it is all she can think about and being on the sea makes it worse. When Vera accepts that she is guilty and tries to move on, she comes to the conclusion that everyone else must too be guilty for something and tries to figure it all out. Towards the end of the novel, Vera's guilt really starts to get the best of her.
She had gone mad because of it. In one part of the novel, she is by the shore and she feels the seaweed on her shoulder. She gets freaked out because she thinks the seaweed on her shoulder is Cyril's hand. Towards the very end of the novel, Vera learns to accept that she truly did plan and plot to kill Cyril. Her admitting to herself that she truly did plan and plot Cyril's death causes her more madness. She realizes that there is no room for forgiveness. She deserves a punishment... left alone on the island she kills herself. General Macarthur feels some guilt for his past in the army.
He was accused of killing Arthur Richmond, a man who was serving under him in the war in France and was killed in action. He told Vera that Richmond was his wife's lover and he was so upset that he sent Richmond on an impossible mission. Nobody knew that Richmond was Macarthur's wife's lover. Although many people didn’t know what the true story behind it all, Macarthur felt that those few who did were looking down on him. Macarthur is happy for any excuse to leave the city because he's sure everyone suspects his guilt. Macarthur throughout the story starts to put the pieces together and realizes that they were all sent here for a reason.
General Macarthur tells Vera, “You'll be glad too, when the end comes. ” (Christie 114). He believes that he was sent to the island to die because of what he did. In the one part of the novel, he sits by the shore, accepting that he will die soon and waits. Someone then comes up and hits him on the head and he dies. He was the third to die on the island. Dr. Armstrongfeels guilt for leaving a woman on the operating table. He was accused of killing a patient on the operating table. He was not a very skilled doctor and some say that he was supposedly drunk during the operation and that led to her death. Dr.
Armstrong feels guilt and then he doesn't. It comes and goes with him. But at one point he starts dreaming about the woman who died on his operating table. Armstrong became Owens’s seventh victim after being pushed to his death into the sea. Throughout the story many characters feel guilt for the things they did in their lives. Guilt seems to take over Vera Claythorne the most out of all the characters. Out of the three characters listed above, guilt seems to take over Dr. Armstrong the least. Although many characters admit to what they did and we know what the story line tells us, we will never know what truly happened on Indian Island…