Murder on the Orient Express Characters

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will discuss the characters from Agatha Christie's murder mystery novel, ''Murder on the Orient Express''. Many of these characters are connected in ways that are not readily apparent.

Background

What would you do if someone you loved was brutally murdered, but the murderer received no consequences? The judicial system is designed to fairly discipline those that break the law, but it is not perfect. In Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, someone aboard the train has a plan to avenge her death by murdering the murderer. Investigators try to uncover what has happened. Let's learn more about the characters in this novel.

The Investigators

After the murder, three of the characters take the lead in gathering evidence and drawing conclusions. They are:

  • Hercule Poirot is a Belgian detective who is a recurring character in Agatha Christie's novels. Not only is he the protagonist, but he is also the narrator. He is extremely successful, intelligent, and has great instincts. This novel also shows an ethical side as he determines that justice in this case clashes with the law.
  • Monsieur Bouc is an old friend of Poirot's who used to work with him at the Belgian police department. Now, he works for the company that provides sleeping cars on trains. Bouc inadvertently bumps into Poirot at a hotel in Istanbul before they both board the Orient Express. Bouc does not have the same degree of intelligence of Poirot and is often confused as Poirot puts the case together.
  • Dr. Constantine is a Greek doctor who serves as the coroner after the murder. Dr. Constantine examines the body and helps collect evidence for Poirot. Constantine works with Poirot and Bouc to assist with the investigation.

The Armstrong Case

Although the subject of the novel is Ratchett's murder, the drama that led to the murder happened a couple of years earlier with the murder of Daisy Armstrong.

  • Ratchett is an American passenger on the Orient Express. Poirot immediately suspects he is evil, therefore when Ratchett claims he is getting death threats and needs Poirot's help, Poirot refuses. Ratchett is the victim of the murder on the Orient Express. It is revealed that he is actually the child murderer Cassetti, who was not punished by the legal system.
  • Daisy Armstrong is the 3-year old daughter of Sonia Armstrong and Colonel John Armstrong. Daisy's maternal grandmother is a famous stage actress. Daisy is kidnapped by Cassetti and held for ransom. After her wealthy family pays the ransom, Daisy is found dead. Her family and friends describe her as ''the delight of the house.''

The Passengers

Since the court system did not punish Cassetti, an assembly of 12 'jurors,' who are family and friends of the Armstrongs, decide to enforce their own form of justice on the Orient Express. The following people pretended to be mere passengers on the train.

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