Agatha Christie’s is considered as classic of the contemporary detective, despite the fact she was far from criminal world. The primary quality of her detectives is the intention to create entangled story, and then to show how the most complicated crimes are revealed with logics and analysis. Furthermore, it is essential for the writer that the reader will not guess which of the characters is guilty.
In literature expressive means and stylistic devices play a huge role, especially for those authors who were engaged in the creation of the detective stories. One of the most important goals in writing a detective story is to immerse the reader in the atmosphere of the events, happening in the story, and to catch their attention. Using literary devices, the writer has the opportunity to express his thoughts more fully
Observing of Agatha Christie’s novels from the stylistic perspective, it is clear that popularity of her books is in her authorial style and stylistic peculiarities. Agatha Christie’s style always enraptures the readers. Notwithstanding that she preserved relative fidelity to the norms and rules of detective genre, namely Christie could perfect the art of mystification the reader.
Agatha Christie has created a huge amount of fascinating and memorable characters. Hence, she has developed necessary ambiance, background and landscape.
Agatha Christie’s novel ‘And then there were none’ has an abundant use of literary devices, including figurative language, suspense, foreshadowing, simile, idioms. This usage of stylistic devices helps the reader to deeply penetrate with the chain of events and comprehend the main gist steadily reaching the basic idea of her novels that criminal must be captured and prosecuted.
As the major purpose of detectives is to create atmosphere of suspense, to build a sense of dissonance and maintain the reader’s interest, she, primarily, uses foreshadowing. Therefore, when one of the heroes, Mr. Blore, is going towards Oakbridge station, one of his neighbors warns “I am talking to you, young man. The day of judgment is very close at hand.” However, this situation is not taken seriously by Mr. Blore and he does not pay attention to the warnings.
Another moment where Christie uses foreshadowing is when Vera sees the island for the first time. Surprised by its appearance, as the author describes it '… there was no house visible, only the boldly silhouetted rock with its faint resemblance to a giant Indian's head. There was something sinister about it. She shivered faintly,' she understand that something is about to go menacing and ominous.
Finally, the coming bad weather is another indicator and prediction of unusual scenes that will happen in the island during the week ( 'Can't land on Indian Island when there's a southeasterly. Sometimes 'tis cut off for a week or more.')
Suspense is one of the significant stylistic devices used in the novel. The poem “Ten Little Niggers” which heroes have found in the island keeps the mystery during the novel and creates a horror in which the book is based (“Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there nine. She thought to herself: “It’s horrible just like us this evening…””). Furthermore, ten china figures on the table, which are connected with the previous poem, form even more suspense and thriller (“Rogers came nearer. “That’s just it, sir. Last night, when I was clearing up, there wasn’t but nine, cir. I noticed it and thought it queer. But that’s all I thought. And now, sir, this morning. I didn’t notice when I laid the breakfast. I was upset and all that. But now, sir, when I came to clear away. See for yourself if you don’t believe me. There’s only eight, sir! Only eight! It doesn’t make sense, does it? Only eight…””)
Another stylistic device the article touches upon is simile. One of the functions of figurative language is describe something by comparing it to something else or to create mental pictures with words, which force the reader to imagine the occasion more colorfully and vividly. In the given novel Agatha Christie employs simile in order the characterize heroes, to depict their actions, thoughts in exciting for readers way. “The word burst from her lips like an exploding shell”, “he walked a little unsteadily, like a man who was only half awake”, “a sudden flash passed like lightning through Armstrong’s mind”, “thoughts that ran round in a circle like squirrels in a cage”. The first provided example of simile compares a word to exploding shell to show how quickly and loudly the word was pronounced. The next quote expresses how someone’s walk is unsteady, not straight and, finally, not confident. The last examples are the depictions of how quickly the thoughts can come to hero’s minds.
Taking into account idioms, their usage is also significant to describe the characters nature and their actions. As for instance, “Vera thought: “She looks frightened of her own shadow””. Here the idiom is vivid depiction Mrs. Rogers character, that she always looks scared of something incomprehensible and something always harasses her. In the example “These Owens must be rolling in money”, the idiom ‘rolling in money’ serves to show their high social status, how much they are rich. Another idiom presented in book is in the phrase “He’d cooked Seton’s goose all right!” The idiom is ‘cooked goose’, which helps the reader to describe that someone is in a real trouble and something bad is going to happen. In a phrase “By Jove, he’d sailed pretty near the wind once or twice!” the idiom ‘sailing near to the wind maintains the action which is dangerous and hazardous. According to the provided samples of Agatha Christie’s idioms, we can generalize that another function of idioms here is to reveal the hazardous and risky moments which happen in the book.
Moreover, Agatha Christie’s ingeniously used stylistic devices on the phonetic level. As for instance, “You oughtto try Armstrong”, “Some little difficulty, it seemed…”, “Honey in the comb, and strain it yourself through a muslin bag. Drip, drip, drip…” Here the alliteration, precisely the usage of assonance and consonance, are aimed at imparting a melodic effect to the utterance, at heightening the general aesthetic effect and at supporting author’s idea with some vague emotional atmosphere.
To conclude, all this use of stylistic devices define distinctive features of Agatha Christie’s novel ‘And then there were none’, that makes her works attractive not only for readers, but for the researches as well. We have analyzed that one of the identified features is foreshadowing. In all her novels it takes a highly crucial role in order to create an atmosphere of suspense.
One of the distinctive features of Christie’s style is wide usage of literary devices including authorial words, epithets and comparison. Therefore, we have determined features that make her works more absorbing and thrilling. These features can concern both parts of her works and whole creativity. Ultimately, the creativity of Agatha Christie was and still remains one of the best samples of detective, with her unique application of stylistic devices in all levels, lexical, phonetic and syntactical.
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