Arthur Conan Doyle's stories

Categories: Arthur Conan Doyle

Additionally, Doyle uses such powerful vocabulary to describe Helen Stoners appearance, words such as, pitiable, agitation, drawn, gray, restless, frightened, hunted, gray, weary and haggard. Such powerful adjectives create a great image in the readers mind. Already the reader knows that she is a victim. She is scared and the readers will find out why as the story unravels. Furthermore, with the historical context the manners and conventions of the period are shown throughout, including housekeepers and servants, the imperial rule in India and a distrust of gypsies is also in keeping with the historical setting.

An important factor in any detective genre is always the setting. In ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ the setting that Doyle uses in many of his detective stories are very typical. For instance in ‘The Beryl Coronet’ the setting of Alexander Holder’s house is very grand. As Alexander Holder has a managerial position in a Bank he can afford to live there and also afford to live the life style.

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As for ‘The Speckled Band’ Dr Roylott’s mansion is set in a large isolated estate in West Surrey. ‘A heavily timbered park stretched up in a gentle slope, thickening into the grove at the highest point. From amid

the branches there jutted out the gray gables and high roof- tree of a very old mansion. ‘ Lastly, for ‘The Golden Pince Nez’ the setting was in ‘Yoxley Old Palace’ in Kent yet again a large house was created for a setting. All this tends to tie in with the target audience; it gives the upper class establishments reassurance as it shows them that Sherlock Holmes will be there for them.

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It also helps Doyle draw in his audience since the people in his stories were rich, educated people like those who were reading his work and the stories were set in places with which the upper classes would be familiar.

In contrast, when the less fortunate Victorians read Doyle’s work, they were sent to a fantasy world, where they could dream about living in such grand conditions. All this ties into detective fiction, as the luxurious furniture, expensive artefacts, inside the grand houses gave rise to crime. For instance, in ‘The Beryl Coronet’ the coronet is kept in Alexander Holder’s bureau. Also in grand houses there are a lot of separate, huge rooms, which could lead to a lot of things being hidden without the knowledge of other people living in the same place.

Due to this, a combination of red herrings, abstract clues along with concrete clues are created. All these can keep the reader at the edge of their seat, as they are left guessing as to what may happen next. For example, in ‘The Speckled Band’, the reference to the Gypsies compels the reader to surmise that it may be the group of travellers who have caused Julia Stoner’s tragic death. This particular case was ‘unsolvable’ for the eyes of the police, but when Sherlock Holmes investigates, he uses a different line of inquiry compared to the police.

Doyle wants Sherlock Holmes to be the perfect detective, and by doing that he must make it look like the police are not doing their jobs correctly. So when Sherlock Holmes steps in, his role is to gain the publics confidence. Furthermore, Doyle tends to raise Sherlock Holmes’s profile by making other characters praise his judgement and skill, as when Helen Stoner in ‘The Speckled Band’, near the beginning of the play clearly says, ‘… I have heard of you, Mr. Holmes; I have heard of you from Mrs. Farintosh, whom you helped in the hour of her sore need. It was from her that I had your address… ‘

From such dialog the readers clearly know that the characters in the story have belief in him. Additional, when Dr Watson who is Sherlock Holmes’s sidekick states, in ‘The Beryl Coronet’, ‘… firm faith in his judgement. ‘ Dr Watson has every bit of confidence in Sherlock Holmes to solve the case and because of this the readers also have more reason to believe in him. As the reader reads on they realise that Watson’s judgement is justified since Holes manages to deduce who the culprit is, through various techniques. This inevitably takes time and Holmes must go through certain stages to find clues and solve the case.

As such the structure of the story is important in keeping the reader engaged and adding suspense. Many of the stories are split into three different sections. The stories begin with an exposition, when the crime is committed and explained to the detective. Early on in ‘The Beryl Coronet’ the readers read about a man who is ‘tall, imposing, massive, strongly marked, sombre yet rich. This adds mystery to the description as the readers gain a visual picture of the character. The readers are lead to ask questions, like, why is a well dressed man, in neat brown gaiters and well cut pearl-grey trousers running towards the house?

Holmes’s first reaction to Arthur Holder is, ‘You have come to me to tell me your story, have you not?… ‘ From this reference, the readers can already tell that the story is about to unravel. In the middle part of the story, the investigation, takes place. In ‘The Speckled Band’ Holmes goes through the deduction of clues in order from him to come to a final section. So the reference to when Holmes states, ‘… My evidence showed the door had been fastened upon the inner side, and the windows were blocked by old-fashioned shutters with broad iron bars, which were secured every night…

‘ The readers know that Holmes uses his intelligence to come to such a conclusion, about how someone could have entered Helen Stoners room. This shows, that Holmes is going through one clue at a time carefully. So when he does come to his final conclusion he as enough evidence to back his allegations up with. After that, the final section exposes the criminal and the detective explains what happened and how he came to find the culprit, using the clues to support his conclusions. In ‘The Golden Pince Nez’, the reference to Holmes saying,

‘A simple case, and yet in some ways an instructive one… I was forced, therefore, to seriously consider the hypothesis that she had remained within the house… i obtained a very excellent view of the floor, and was able to see quite clearly, from the traces upon the cigarette ash… ‘ This tells the readers that the crime as been solved. Furthermore, the readers gain more confidence in Holmes as Holmes explains every clue in detail and how he came solve them. This tactic again reassures the readers in having faith in Holmes.

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Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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