Vera Claythorne in And Then There Were None

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

In the Agatha Christie novel, ''And Then There Were None'' the characters are stabbed, shot, poisoned and more. It can be hard to keep the 10 characters straight, and in this lesson, we will look at Vera Claythorne.

An Introduction to Vera

From the beginning, Vera Claythorne seems to be a very positive person. When she first gets the invitation to go the mysterious island, she comments on how much she is looking forward to seeing it. When she finally arrives, she says that it is lovely. We again see her positive nature when she first gets a glimpse of her room. The narrator tells us that after the door to her bedroom is opened ''She uttered a quick exclamation of pleasure.''

Judge Much?

Another interesting aspect of Vera's personality is her judgment of other people. One example of this is when she meets Mrs. Rogers. Vera thinks to herself, ''What a white bloodless ghost of a woman!'' Vera often observes others and secretly passes judgment on them. When Emily Brent, an older woman, gets someone's name wrong, Vera thinks to herself that it is ''Funny how elderly people always get names wrong.'' Finally, she is racist. When Emily says that black people are her brothers, Vera says to herself, ''Our black brothers - our black brothers. Oh, I'm going to laugh. I'm hysterical.''

Vera's Crime

Each person invited to the island is guilty of murder. However, each person also committed the murder in a way that escaped the justice system. Vera's murder can be seen as one of the most heinous. The mysterious letter tells us that ''Vera Elizabeth Claythorne, that on the 11th day of August 1935, you killed Cyril Ogilvie Hamilton.'' As it turns out, Cyril was a young boy who Vera was charged with taking care of. Her lover, Hugo, was supposed to receive an inheritance from Cyril's family. The family did not expect to have another child so that the money would go to Hugo. When Cyril was born, the inheritance was automatically set for Cyril. One day, while Vera was at the ocean with Cyril and Hugo, she let him wade too deep in the water. She knew that he would be washed away and drowned, but allowed it to happen so that Hugo could get his inheritance.

Last Woman Standing

Vera is the last person left alive on the island. Towards the end of the murder mystery, she and Lombard face off. They both find Dr. Armstrong dead. Vera suspects Lombard, but Lombard equally suspects Vera. We find out in the Epilogue that it was Wargrave all along, but neither Vera nor Lombard know this. In fact, they assume he is dead. Because of this assumption, Vera steals Lombard's gun and uses it shoot him in the chest and kill him.

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