Focalisation in The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd
Agatha Christie was a crime writer of novels, whose books are still widely read all over the world. She is a creator of a famous detective, Hercule Poirot. One of her most popular book is The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd (1926), which was very controversial in that time and often criticised because of the precedent role of narrator. Also, it was thought to break the rules of the crime novel. The plot of the book is set in England, in a small village, King's Abbott. At the beginning of the story dies Mrs. Ferrars, a woman who is suspected to had murdered her husband. Before the death, the lady sends a letter to a widower, Mr. Roger Ackroyd. She admits to having killed her husband and to commit suicide. Also, in the letter she reveals the name of a man, who has been blackmailing her for months. Unfortunately, before reading that, Rodger Ackroyd is murdered and the letter disappears. Here starts the investigation – who killed Rodger Ackroyd? Was is the same person that was blackmailing Mrs. Ferrars? We are getting acquainted with the story through the eyes of doctor James Sheppard, the narrator, who is an older, intelligent man, a friend of Roger Ackroyd, actively involved in the action. He is the one that found Ackroyd dead, after having a mysterious phone call. Through the whole book readers have to try to resolve a mystery of the murder together with Sheppard, who openly says about all the clues that have been discovered. What is more, he is just next to the source of all information, because of his closeness to the most effective detective ever – Hercule Poirot. However, Dr. Sheppard does not like to talk about himself and the reader will never read who is on the top of his “black list”. It is no surprise, because he is the one that turns out to be a murderer. This manipulation in the narration is shocking for many readers. Narrator is usually a person whom reader believes, who is...
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