Pleasure Reading: Quotation Assignment

One of the recent assignments on our pleasure reading book was to comment one our favorite quotation from the book so far. This semester I’m reading a detective, “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie and I really love it. It’s interesting and not very difficult to read, especially now, when I’ve already gotten used to the style. However, despite the fact that the plot itself is very intriguing, it was quite difficult for me to choose a quote because I haven’t come across anything really deep to think about yet. So, I searched for the quotes from the book on the Internet and found one, which, I think, expresses the essence and the atmosphere of “Murder on the Orient Express”.

“I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.”

These are the words of Hercule Poirot, the protagonist of the story. Poirot is a detective, famous by solving his cases primarily basing on psychological aspects: people’s behavior, some verbal and non-verbal signals, etc.He’s very shrewd and attentive to some minor details in terms of people’s conduct and this phrase definitely proves it.

Of course, the quote can be understood literally, as it was presented in the book but I think it’s also very interesting in the broader sense. So, it says that people tend to behave unusually or weirdly when they are under stress, and as it was in the context, even innocent people can “lose their head” if they are suspected to be guilty. In my opinion, stressful situation are very good indicators of people’s real faces, because stress makes their instincts work and force them to forget social roles or masks they usually hide behind. In the book it’s shown very precisely, as we learn more and more facts about the characters when they get suspected by Poirot.