69 pages 2 hours read

Agatha Christie

The Mousetrap

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1950

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Important Quotes

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“The only people who really know what other people are like are artists—and they don’t know why they know it!”


(Act I, Scene 1, Page 6)

This line of dialogue is spoken by Christopher to Mollie early in the play before other guests arrive at Monkswell Manor. Christopher speaks to the theme of identity formation; here, he highlights the general unknowability of people. On one level, this quote contains some irony because Christopher is hiding his identity as an army deserter. On another level, this quote presents artists as having a special kind of insight, one that originates from some sort of muse or other unexplainable source, making it impossible to teach to others.

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“The North Wind doth blow / And it will bring snow / And what will the robin do then, poor thing?” 


(Act I, Scene 1, Page 9)

Christopher sings this nursery rhyme. It is a red herring because the murderer wrote a note containing “Three Blind Mice” and left it on the first victim’s body. Christopher shares his delight with nursery rhymes with the murderer (Detective Sergeant Trotter / Georgie Corrigan). This child-like fascination could stem from the fact that they were both traumatized by their experiences in the army, which caused them to desert.

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“Oh, I like murder.” 


(Act I, Scene 1, Page 11)

This is another quote by Christopher that causes other characters, especially Giles, to suspect he is the murderer. It also helps set up Christie’s subversion of the norms of detective fiction.

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