September 20, 2006
Laura's Quote Commentry
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
"Now who pushed it back into place again, I wonder? Did you my friend?"
"No sir," said Parker. "I was too upset with seeing the master and all."
Poirot looked across at me. "Did you doctor?"
I shook my head.
"It was back in position when I arrived with the police, sir," put in Parker. "I'm sure of that."
"Curious," said Poirot again.
"Raymond or Blunt must have pushed it back," I suggested. Surely it isn't important?"
"It is completely unimportant," said Poirot. "That is why it is so interesting," he added softly.
This passage is revealing of the novel in two ways. This passage reveals important evidence concerning the plot, and it also reveals a relevance to the novel in it's genre.
After knowing that Dr. Shepherd is the murderer by completing the story, one can read the novel again and distinguish particular actions he does that are meant to hide his guilt. When Poirot asks Dr. Shepherd if he had moved the chair, Dr. Shepherd does not speak his answer, but shakes his head. Had Dr. Shepherd spoken the lie, Poirot would be sure to detect any inflection in his voice as is common when lieing.
About the novel as a whole, Poirot's last line in this passage speaks of the imortance of every detail. He says "...It is completely unimportant," but as a general rule, mystery novelists do not add superfluous detail that is not in some way explained. Every detail of the mystery is relevent and has it's meaning. Though every detail is not of direct importance of ultimately 'whodunnit?' every detail has some purpose or it would not have been included.