Lying is Sometimes Necessary
A Theme in the Novel: And Then There Were None
"Without warning, inhuman, penetrating... 'Ladies and gentlemen! Silence, please!' Everyone was startled. They looked round--at each other, at the walls. Who was speaking? The voice went on--a high clear voice. 'You are charged with the following indictments: Edward George Armstrong, that you did upon the 14th day of March, 1925, cause the death of Louisa Mary Clees" (42).
The gramophone goes off (accusing everyone of their murders) and Justice Wargrave acts just as surprised as everyone else (42-46). Beyond this, he appears suspicious and wondering. In this instance, Justice Wargrave had to lie to blend into the crowd. Instead of stating that he set the whole thing up, he pretended to have no clue about the gramophone and appeared to be interested in getting to the bottom of it. This was necessary to protect his plan to murder the murderers.
Power Can be Used for Good or Evil
Telling the Truth?
Justice Wargrave openly concludes that the murderer must be one of them. By telling the truth, Wargrave was indirectly telling a lie leading people to think that he wasn't the murderer. This is because most people would think it insane that the murderer would reveal his secret. So, this redirected the attention to the rest of the people on the island. Sometimes, telling something truthful that leads to false conclusions can make you appear innocent.
Power Provides the Freedom of Choice
"According to my plan I should shortly need an ally. I selected Dr. Armstrong for the part" (269).
"He was still quite unsuspicious--yet he ought to have been warned--If only he had only remembered the words of the nursery rhyme, 'A red herring swallowed one...' He took the red herring all right...A quick vigorous push sent him off his balance and splash into the heaving sea below" (271).
Sometimes, lying in creative ways could get you the result you are looking for. In this situation, Wargrave pretended to form an alliance with Armstrong to find the murderer. This eventually led to the death of Armstrong. Even though pretending to form an alliance isn't lying, withholding information from an individual is. To kill Dr. Armstrong, Wargrave withheld the fact that he was the murderer to convince Armstrong that they were on the same side.