“Ackroyd has always interested me by being a man more impossibly like a country squire than any country squire could really be. He reminds one of the red-faced sportsmen who always appeared early in the first act of an old-fashioned comedy, the setting being the village green. They usually sang a song about going up to London.” (p. 7)
Here, Christie uses imagery to paint a very clear picture of Roger Ackroyd by comparing him to an old-fashioned country squire. This helps the reader imagine him as a simple, genial, likeable, popular and comic figure from an old fashioned comedy. Ultimately, this makes Ackroyd’s distress when Dr. Sheppard first meets him all the more significant. He is not a character one would expect to find in such a state.
“It was indeed a beautiful object. A narrow, tapering blade, and a hilt of elaborately intertwined metals of curious and careful workmanship. He [the Inspector] touched the blade gingerly with his finger, testing its sharpness, and made an appreciative grimace. ‘Lord, what an edge,’ he exclaimed. ‘A child could drive that into a man – as easy as cutting butter. A dangerous sort of toy to have about.’” (p. 64)
There isn’t a great deal of descriptive imagery in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, but Christie takes special care to provide a vivid picture of the murder weapon. With just a few sentences, she easily allows the reader to imagine the dagger used to kill Ackroyd: a viciously sharp, dangerous item. It also suggests to the reader that any character could have easily killed Ackroyd, even one without the physical strength to overpower him, or indeed, even swing a blade very hard.
“It was then that I saw Flora. She was moving along the path we had just left and she was humming a little snatch of song. Her step was more dancing than walking, and, in spite of her black dress, there was nothing buy joy in her whole attitude. She gave a sudden pirouette on her toes, and her black draperies swung out. At the same time she flung her head back and laughed outright." (p. 101)
Here, Christie describes Flora Ackroyd’s joy with clarity. Being incongruous with the mood one might expect her to be feeling given her uncle’s recent murder, the imagery here effective highlights this discrepancy.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.