The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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  • Topic: Hercule Poirot, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie
  • Pages : 4 (1530 words )
  • Download(s) : 541
  • Published : October 28, 2011
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In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, we are brought to a startling realization when, in the end, it is revealed that our very own narrator, Dr. Sheppard, is the killer all along. However, this does not make him an unreliable narrator. In fact, Dr. Sheppard, as the “author” of this story, is a very honest and dependable narrator- using subtle clues in his writing in order to reveal himself as the killer from the very beginning.

When it comes to evidence, Dr. Sheppard uses specific words in order to inconspicuously gather the clues that possibly could have made people accuse him of the crime. When Roger Ackroyd decides to read Mrs. Ferrars’ letter, which reveals who’s been blackmailing her all this time, to himself, Dr. Sheppard says “’No,’ I cried impulsively, ‘read it now…At least the name of the man’” (pg. 54). Dr. Sheppard knows that his name is in that letter and is desperate, as seen by the word ‘cried’, to hear it come from Ackroyd’s lips. In another instance, Dr. Sheppard uses the word ‘cried’ once again, as the narrator, in order to describe his extreme anxiety when he says “’What is it?’ I cried. ‘What have you found’” (pg.123). Here, the word is used when Hercule Poirot nonchalantly stumbles upon a possible clue that he doesn’t necessarily point out right away to Dr. Sheppard. He’s constantly on his toes, fearing that any little detail could give him away, especially to Poirot, and Dr. Sheppard describes that fear perfectly to his readers. Lastly, he states in his narration that he “wanted dreadfully to understand the enigma of the boots” (pg. 211) when the boots continuously pop up as a clue. He wouldn't have been so curious about the boots had he not used them to try and frame Ralph Paton. He uses the word ‘dreadfully’ in order to show how badly he wanted to know the boot’s significance to Poirot.

Continuing on with his intelligent choice of words, Dr. Sheppard specifically shows in the text when he’s been silenced answering...
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