Analysis of "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" by Agatha Christie

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Melissa Matus Lisa McNew English 1301 10D2 April 16, 2013 Plots within Plots The detective novel “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie is full of plots within plots and characterization designed to throw off the reader. The novel is narrated by Dr. Sheppard, and the characterization begins with him. Although Dr. Sheppard is the narrator of the story, his sister, Caroline, plays a key role in pointing out his deficiencies as a man, a weak man. A seemingly genial village doctor, who from the beginning of the story shows a lack of emotion towards events that, would normally draw out shock and horror or at the very least surprise. The story begins with the good doctor coming home from the death of a local widow. His opinion of the widow, “A widow, fairly young still, very well off, good health, and nothing to do but enjoy life” (12) is the first sign of something just a little off with the doctor. As the story continues and it is suggested that the widow, Mrs. Ferrars, might have committed suicide, the doctor is quick to discount the idea. This is one of the first clues to the mystery. Why wouldn’t the doctor question the cause of death of a healthy young widow, if not for the fact that he knows more than he is saying? Dr. Sheppard’s sister Caroline, a very strong personality in the story, is first one to question the doctor’s assessment of the death. Caroline is shown to be like most older sisters, bossy and a know-it-all, gossipy, but loving and caring, sure that she knows best, even though her brother is a doctor. As she questions and insists that Dr. Sheppard is wrong about the death being accidental, you again see the doctor attempting to discredit the thought. He continues to discount her assessment of the poor widow’s mental state, in the days and weeks before her death, as a reason for suicide. The doctor continues to narrate the story and

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