"Murder on the Orient Express" Reader's Guide

Page 7
"Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – Warning! Spoilers follow!

  1. Were you able to solve the mystery before Poirot did, or were you surprised when Poirot revealed the culprits?
  1. The setting of the novel involves a passage from Syria to London, with all passengers onboard having spent time in the Middle East. In today’s world, widespread tourism in the Middle East seems highly unlikely. Contrast the social/political climate in the countries, Turkey, Serbia, Syria, Persia (now Iran/Afghanistan), of 1933 with today.
  1. How is the diversity of American society shown through the passengers? How does this diversity create an interesting and unusual case for Poirot?
  1. One issue that is alluded to in Christie’s novel is the role that prejudice and profiling play in criminal investigation. M. Bouc, in particular, is quick to assign characters guilt or innocence based on what he perceives as the characteristics of their nationality. What steps have been taken to end racial profiling toay? What still needs to be done?
  1. Why did Agatha Christie set the murder on a train? What does the train symbolize in the novel?
  1. The motif of the dragon is mentioned several times in the novel. What does this motif symbolize or suggest?
  1. How does Murder on the Orient Express differ from other murder mysteries? What format rules does it break? Why is it unique?
  1. Agatha Christie based parts of her novel on the real life kidnapping case of Charles Lindbergh. What are the similarities and differences between the true crime story and the fictional Armstrong kidnapping?
  1. Name two comedic characters in Murder on the Orient Express. How are they comedic and how do they help propel the plot?
  1. How are working-class people portrayed in the novel? What differences do you see between working class and non-working-class individuals?
  1. Daisy Armstrong, despite the fact that she never appears in the book, is one of the most important characters. How does her death affect all those around her?
  1. Before she is revealed as Linda Arden, what behavior or descriptions might indicate Mrs. Hubbard is an actress?
  1. What is the difference between revenge and justice?
  1. Where the murderers justified in killing Mr. Ratchett?
  1. Why did Poirot choose not to report the crime and punish the criminals?
  1. An episode of the television show Doctor Who, titled “The Unicorn and the Wasp” (Season 4, Episode 7), features Agatha Christie as a character. In what ways does the episode remain true to history? What creative liberties does the episode take when exploring Christie’s life and works? How does the episode allude to Murder on the Orient Express?
  1. Explore some of Agatha Christie’s other works. What common stylistic and thematic elements do you notice?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This