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How is General Macarthur killed? What does this death tell the rest about U.N Owen's...

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kailuaangel780 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 27, 2010 at 1:04 PM via web

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How is General Macarthur killed? What does this death tell the rest about U.N Owen's plans for them?

What is happening with the weather as they come to the realization that Mr.Owen is one of them?

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted June 18, 2010 at 12:55 AM (Answer #1)

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General Macarthur accepts that his guilt for sending his wife's lover to his death has finally caught up with him, and he resigns himself to his fate.  All of the others on the island have been accused of either murder or manslaughter, and two have already died under mysterious circumstances.  Tony Marstan's drink was poisoned, and Mrs. Rogers was given a lethal amount of sedatives.  Based on the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians" that is posted throughout house, it is clear that none of the Little Indians on this island will survive.  General Macarthur accepts this realization, and he tells the others that none of them will be leaving the island.  He then calmly awaits his punishment at the seaside.  The general is the next to die, as he is bludgeoned while sitting on the beach. 

The nursery rhyme clearly foreshadows how the remaining characters will meet their fate on Indian Island.  Tony Marstan was the one little Indian boy who "choked his little self", while Mrs. Rogers "overslept [her]self".  General Macarthur becomes the Little Indian who "said he'd stay there" as he refuses to leave the beach and simply awaits his fate, which arrives very shortly after.  Mr. U.N. Owen (or Unknown) plans to follow the nursery rhyme in eliminating the remaining "guests" on the island.

The arrival of the storm heightens the dark and frightening atmosphere surrounding the remaining characters.  As the storm builds, so do their suspicions of one another. 

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