Agatha Christie

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Why were characters like Justice Wargrave, Vera Claythorne, Philip Lombard, Emily Brent, General Macarthur, Dr. Armstrong, Tony Marston, and Mr. Blore invited in Agatha Christie's story?

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"In Ten Little Indians Christie creates a masterpiece of mystery and murder. After ten strangers gather together on an isolated island off the coast of Devon, England, one by one, they each are discovered murdered. As those remaining frantically search for the murderer, their own guilty pasts return to haunt them."

Each guest is invited for the purpose of being part of an elaborate fantasy murder scenario set up by Justice Wargrave, he intends to punish this group of murderers, as he has defined them over the years, people who were responsible for the death of another, but who somehow slipped past the justice system.   So he arranges for each of them to die in a mysterious, explainable way, leaving the rest to struggle for answers and suffer from the anxiety of not knowing who will be next.

Each is invited to the island, without their knowledge or consent, to participate in an elaborate murder mystery known as a locked door mystery.  The process is set in motion by Justice Wargrave, who after years of sitting on the bench lusted to be  a criminal, specifically a murderer.  Discovering that he was terminally ill, with not much time left to live, he assembles this group of people, all who have in one way or another contributed to the death of one or more persons.

Justice Wargrave a retired justice, who, unknown to the reader until the end of the story is the person who invites the other guests and who, in fact is the murderer.

Vera Claythorne - a former governess who was acquitted of the responsibility of the death from drowning of her charge, a little boy.

Philip Lombard - who seems to have been a soldier for hire, he was responsible for the deaths of several Africans.  He carries a gun.

Dr. Armstrong - a doctor, who botched a surgery because he was drunk, killing a woman, he is now a recovering alcoholic.

William Henry Blore - a former Police Inspector who was corrupt and framed a man at the request of a criminal gang.

Emily Brent - an older woman who is self-righteous, she abandoned her servant who became pregnant out of wedlock, the girl killed herself.

Thomas and Ethel Rogers - the servants who are already at the estate, they were responsible for the death of an elderly woman in their care, they withheld her medication causing her to die.

General MacArthur - a veteran of war, who sent his wife's lover into a very dangerous battle hoping that he would be killed, he was.

Anthony Marston - a rich, playboy type, who loved fast cars, he killed two small children with his speeding car and didn't even stop.

Isaac Morris - who does not go to the island, but arranges everything, anonymously for the judge, he is also murdered, which rounds out the group to ten altogether.

"After arranging for the deaths of the others, Wargrave shot himself in the same manner in which he appeared to be shot earlier. His desire to show off his ingenious scheme prompted him to place his confession in the bottle."

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