“How Does the Author use Pathetic Fallacy in his Descriptions of the Settings and the Effects of this Open the Reader” Helen Allman The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is an excellent book, and is held up as one of the best mysteries in the literary world. Holmes, the well-known detective, is asked to investigate the death of Charles Baskerville, which many believe to be the work of the ferocious hound, a curse brought about by the misdeeds of Charles’ ancestor, Hugo Baskerville.
When Sir Henry inherits the estate, Holmes must solve the mystery before another Baskerville meets his end.
This essay will analyse how Doyle uses pathetic fallacy in his descriptions of the settings and the effects of this upon the reader. This book is absolutely bursting with personifications, alliterations, metaphors and similes which all add to the drama and excitement which flows throughout. Doyle has a great use of language to help keep the reader interested and wanting to know more and more as the story gets more thrilling and intriguing as it progresses towards the end.
Doyle deliberately leaves each chapter on an increasingly dramatic cliff hanger, which has an over powering knack of getting the reader to turn that page and read on.
For example; “”Footprints? ” “Footprints. ” “A man’s or a woman’s? ” Dr. Mortimer looked strangely at us for an instant, and his voice sank almost to a whisper as he answered: “Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound! “” It could be argued that this is an amazing way of ending a chapter, it would be near impossible for the reader to put the book down at this point, so Doyle really has done a brilliant job of keeping you entrapped and almost making it unfeasible not to want to know what happens next.
This is one of many ways in which Doyle keeps the story unravelling and progressing at such a fast moving pace. At the turn of each and every page something more exciting is unearthed, leaving the reader with a sense that they themselves are the detectives, trying to work out what happens next. This may be thought of as a sign of a great detective novel. Although the speed of this book is fairly swift it’s not overpowering and the reader doesn’t get lost in all the twists and turns of the storyline, always feeling that they are on top of what’s going on but not quite knowing what is about to happen next.
Throughout this novel, particularly towards the end, the exercise of personification is continually in use to describe the main settings i. e. the moor and Baskerville Hall. Doyle uses words and sentences in order to give the moor a personality of it’s own. This in itself creates atmosphere and no reader in their right mind would want to be trapped upon such a frightening, desolate place and all this by wording the portrayal of the moor in such a way that makes it feel as if it has a menacing mind of it’s own. A good example of this is found in chapter seven.