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Murder on the Orient Express

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1 Murder on the Orient Express
by Agatha Christie Chapters 1 - 4

2 Basic Facts A train is a closed place. No one can join a train until it stops at a station. The journey begins in Aleppo, Syria. Syria, during this time period, is under French control. The type of cabin you receive depends upon the ticket you purchase and your final destination.

3 Theme #1 Appearances can be deceiving.
Which clues at the crime scene were red herrings? In which ways do the passengers involved in the plot modify their appearances to try to fool Poirot? How do the various characters try to deceive Hercule Poirot? If you were one of the conspirators on the train, what would you have done differently in order to fool him?

4 The Train’s Route

5 Crossing the Sea of Marmara to Istanbul

6 Hercule Poirot Belgium
Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German Hercule Poirot is an international private detective and is hired by individuals and governments to solve problems and to find answers. He believes logic and reasoning can solve all difficulties.

7 As Each Character Is Introduced
On your chart record a quote that best describes the character’s physical characteristics. In your journal: At the end of each chapter paraphrase the major events that occurred in this part of the novel.

8 Allusion Allusion: A reference made to a piece of literature, a historic event or person, to a play, music, sport etc. Agatha Christie refers to the kidnapping of Daisy Armstrong. 1. What actual kidnapping is she referring to? How does using an allusion add depth and complexity to her story? Provide evidence from the story to support your opinion.

9 A Who Done It? The genre is known as a mystery.
Another name is “Who done it.” To understand this type of story, you need to understand events and the order they occur. 1. Write down the major events in chapters 1-4. 2. Place them in the correct order.

10 Learn a bit of French M. = monsieur, the same as Mister (Mr.) in English comme ça = like this, like that en voiture, monsieur = in the car, sir en brosse = like a brush, similar to a crew cut

11 Theme #1 Appearance How often do we judge people by their appearances? The author shows this concept by using stereotypes and misperception to mislead and to guide the reader

12 How does the appearance of Hercule Poirot mislead a character?
What an egg-shaped head he had. In spite of her preoccupations Mary Debenham smiled. A ridiculous-looking little man. The sort of little man one could never take seriously. (1.1.7)

13 Is the conversation between Colonel Arbuthnot and Miss Debenham realistic?
"Rather an odd little comedy that I watch here," said Poirot to himself thoughtfully. (1.1.12)

14 How is the author influencing the reader’s understanding of the character Mr. Ratchett with this description? He was a man of between sixty and seventy. From a little distance he had the bland aspect of a philanthropist. His slightly bald head, his domed forehead, the smiling mouth that displayed a very white set of false teeth, all seemed to speak of a benevolent personality. Only the eyes belied this assumption. They were small, deep set and crafty. Not only that. As the man, making some remark to his young companion, glanced across the room, his gaze stopped on Poirot for a moment, and just for that second there was a strange malevolence, and unnatural tensity in the glance. (1.2.19)

15 How is this an example of Poirot failing to use logic?
"If you will forgive me for being personal – I do not like your face, M. Ratchett," he said. (1.3.36)

16 How is this an example of allusion
How is this an example of allusion? Why does Christie include something so obvious in her story? "And most conveniently she leaves her handkerchief behind!" said Poirot. "Exactly as it happens in the books and on the films – and to make things even easier for us it is marked with an initial." (1.7.74)

17 How does this quote support the theme that appearances can be deceiving?
"Say something, then, my friend, I implore you. Show me how the impossible can be possible!"

"It is a good phrase that," said Poirot. "The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances." ( )

18 How does the reference to the word theatrical reinforce the theme?
"Nonsense. It's absurd. Colonel Arbuthnot is the last man in the world to be mixed up in a crime – especially a theatrical kind of crime like this." ( )

19 How does M. Bouc suggest that he has been confused by appearances?
"That is all very fine," said M. Bouc. "But what have you to go upon?"

"I told you just now. We have the evidence of the passengers and the evidence of our own eyes."

"Pretty evidence – that of the passengers! It told us just nothing at all."

Poirot shook his head.

"I do not agree, my friend. The evidence of the passengers gave us several points of interest." ( )

20 How does the reinforcement of the use of theater contribute to the theme of appearances can be deceiving? "I came to the conclusion that the whole business at twenty-three minutes to one was a comedy played for my benefit!" (3.9.50)

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