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In this assignment I will analyse the classic Sherlock Holmes detective story the “Speckled Band” and find out how sir Conan Doyle takes a basic idea from all detective stories, a murder and still create a classic story. First off a detective story needs a murder and in this case it was the death of Sarah stoner that starts the story off, but no death in any detective story would be complete without a mysterious death and the way Sarah died was a mystery. And I think that most detective stories use mysterious deaths because this makes the story more interesting and more intriguing because if the death was straight forward then the reader might be able to predict the ending of the story before actually reading the end of the story.
This story also has its fair shares of mysterious characters for instance Helen Stoner, who is Sarah stoners sister is as mysterious as they get, like when she first met Sherlock she was wearing black clothes like she just came from a funeral. But why use mysterious characters? Because it is these characters that keep the reader guessing as to who the suspects may be and sometimes the writer can use this as an advantage to create a huge twist in the end of the story.
The story describes the atmosphere as well such in the case of Sarah’s death the atmosphere was described as dark, mysterious sounds etc and this is very important to use descriptions of certain atmospheres and locations because they will help the reader create a sort of picture of the scene in their heads therefore making them want to read more because it helps them get more involved with the story – and also makes them think about what’s going to happen next.
The location of the story is also important and in this story most of the tension is created in the mansion of Helen stoner, which is owned by Dr Roylott. And in this mansion are a number of false clues such as in the room of Sarah stoner there’s an emergency bell that don’t work, her bed bolted to the ground, no windows and a ventilator that goes straight in to Dr Roylotts room. But the biggest false clue to me was the title itself the “Speckled Band” and it was pure genius for Conan Doyle to use a title like this because some people read the story purely out of curiosity to find out what the speckled band was.
So by using mysterious deaths, mysterious characters, atmospheres, locations & false clues the writer is able to draw the reader in the story, use tension to create questions in the mind of the reader but it also helps the writer stay 5 steps ahead to create a classic detective story.