Are there any good essay questions for this book?

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

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Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians addresses the effect of guilt on  the individual. Speculate on the psychological influence of a guilty conscience.  How does that idea seem to fit in with the events on Indian Island?  Select two characters who seem to be especially influenced by a guilty conscience and explain how it affects the characters’ behavior.

You might also write about the author's use of symbolism.  At several points throughout the novel, the guests are compared to various animals. Find these comparisons and then explain how each character seems to reflect specific traits about the animal he or she is linked to.  How is the connection to animals symbolic of the state of affairs on the island?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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When I'm looking for good essay questions for any novel, I always look first at the theme(s). Next, consider the literary elements, such as characters, irony, symbolism, etc.

For example, one theme of this book is appearance vs. reality. One questions might be: "Explain how the characters in Ten Little Indians deceive each other about their true natures." As for the theme of justice and injustice, you might ask, "Explain and give examples of how justice is served and when injustice occurs."

Literary elements always provide a wealth of information for questions, such as compare and contrast characters, discuss the irony and symbolism, etc. Conflict(s) is/are always a good source to consider for essay questions. "Describe the conflict (one of characters) must deal with in the book, how he/she resolves it, and what this says about that character."

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