The Sign of Four – Tonga

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Tonga is a character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel “The Sign of Four.” Though not a central character, Tonga plays a significant role in the story as a native of the Andaman and a loyal follower of Jonathan Small, a key antagonist in the novel. 

Tonga’s physical appearance is described in a way that makes him stand out. He is portrayed as a small and imposing figure with distinctive features.

Tonga’s origin is an essential part of his character. He is a member of the Andaman Islander tribe.

Tonga’s role in the plot is closely tied to Jonathan Small, a former army officer who was involved in a treasure robbery in India, which serves as the central mystery of the novel. Tonga is fiercely loyal to Small and always ready in carrying out Small’s plans, including the theft and hiding of the Agra treasure.

One of Tonga’s most significant actions in the novel is his use of a poison blowdart. He is skilled in using this weapon, and it plays a crucial role in advancing the plot. His blowdart (blowpipe) is used in a murder, adding an element of mystery and danger to the story.


Tonga’s character ultimately meets a tragic fate in the novel. His loyalty to Jonathan Small leads him into a deadly confrontation (fight) with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Finally he is died  by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, who are determined to solve the mystery of the stolen treasure related to Mary Morstan.

In conclusion, Tonga is a complex and enigmatic character in “The Sign of Four.” While he is not a central character, his role as a loyal follower of Jonathan Small and his status as a member of the Andaman Islander tribe add depth and intrigue to the story. Tonga’s actions and fate in the novel reflect the broader themes of loyalty, greed, and the consequences of criminal actions.

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