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Our encounter with the Stapleton’s provides more questions, “What sort of facts?” Watson was asking questions to himself. When Stapleton’s first meets Watson, he asks all kind of questions to Holmes about the case, and about Sir Henry. On the over hand, we are suppose to believe that the convicts behaviour makes him look suspicious, Selden is a convicted killer who recently escaped out of prison. On the other hand, we are also supposed to believe that Mr Stapleton is trustworthy, and his actions make him appear to be a concerned person and an unsuspicious character.
“Would it not be well in the first place to get rid of this Barrymore Couple?”-This is what Watson tells Holmes at the start of chapter 6, a statement that manifest his suspicions of Sir Henry’s butler the Barrymore’s. Watson’s suspicion here is due to previous events, which puts Barrymore in the spotlight, in this chapter we receive an introduction to Stapleton’s past life as a schoolmaster, a piece if information that is not helpful until Holmes takes over.
Stapleton justifies Holmes later on the investigation. We wonder whether there is another reason for Doyle to mention Stapleton’s past, other that to tie the plot together at the end.
Sir Henry, Dr Watson and Dr Mortimir’s arrival in Devonshire id portrayed as an important event, as when they reached, many people had gathered around their cabs, “Our coming was evidently a great event, for station masters and porters clustered round us to carry out our luggage.
” This signifies the importance of Sir Henry’s arrival, for people would not care for a man of no consequence. I think it is mainly because he is so rich as his dead uncle Sir Charles had left him Baskerville hall along with 740,000 pounds. This would not seem much these days as most the houses that people buy and live in are at least 500,000 pounds, but again we have to remember this was the Victorian era.
When Stapleton is introduced, he is described as a small, slim, clean shaven, prim faced man, flaxen-haired and lean-jawed, between thirty and forty years of age, dressed in a grey suit and wearing a straw a straw hat.” We instantly get the
This warm welcome however is overshadowed by appearance of a security force. “I was surprised to observe that by the gate there stood two soldierly men in dark uniforms who learnt upon their short rifles and glanced keenly at us as we passed.” By introducing these two police men, Conan Doyle has neutralized the calm, friendly welcome and destroyed the deceptive welcoming atmosphere. He has therefore, reminded the reader and the three passengers that this is not a happy well to do place, making them and the reader once more cognizant of this menacing land, home to mysterious crimes and above all the diabolical cursed Hound of the Baskerville. The guards however, are stationed in their positions, because of the escaped convict. The guards also stared “keenly” at them as they passes, which is a symbol of hostility, especially from the officers as they are on the side of the law and justice, placing our three heroes in an unwanted position, the position of the “suspect”.
Throughout chapter 6 there are many hints and pointers towards tragic future events and the author is always giving the moor haunted touch. “The rattle of our wheels died away as we drove through drifts if rotting vegetation-sad gifts, as it seemed to me, for nature to throw before the carriage of the returning heir of Baskervilles.” This is sure give-away of some disaster that will befall Sir Henry in the future, so is another well written and well used sentence to engage the reader.
“Baskerville shuddered as he looked up the long dark drive to the where the house “Glimmered like a ghost” at bitter solution of the moor. The beauty of this is that it plays with the readers mind, making us think twice about the genre of the book.
Moving onto chapter seven, we find out that Barrymore has again been classified as the prime suspect. In the attempt to discover who the sobbing woman was, Watson and Sir Henry question Barrymore. “It seemed to me that the pallid feature of the butler turned a shade paler still as he listened to his master’s questions.” This is a crystal clear suggestion that Barrymore has something to hide, that he’s not just a simple butler. Barrymore says that there are two women in the house and it could not have been his wife, Mrs Barrymore. However when Watson meets Mrs Barrymore: “but her tell-tale eyes were red and glanced at me from solid lids.” Already round this pale-featured, handsome, black bearded man there was gathering an atmosphere of mystery and of gloom.” This is proof that Barrymore was lying and is probably up to something. Again, this is another diversion from the man they’re after; who we find out is Stapleton, as this text manifests a sense of cunning about Barrymore, and “cunning” symbolises the villain. Of course, Conan Doyle is trying to distract us in the future of Stapleton’s by arousing suspicions of the innocent, in this case, Barrymore, which is always the nature of such stories, For it would be pointless to for it to be called a mystery story in such a case, when the real killer is so exposed from the start and throughout and in the end the reader discovers him to be the actual murderer. Conan Doyle, however understands the nature of the mysteries and how they should be presented, as he has done, thrusting the reader in void of confusion right from the beginning, leaving him unarmed and exposed to any attack, which often results with the saying “I should have known that strait away”-but they didn’t.
After this Watson meets the real villain so this builds tension up bit by bit. Miss Stapleton is introduced by Dr Watson when he is invited to Merripit house, where Stapleton and his sister live. She was compared to her brother physically as “there could not have been greater contrast between brother and sister, for Stapleton was neutral-tinted, with light hair and grey eyes, while she was darker then any brunette whim I have seen in England.” Conan Doyle captures her as looking very different from Mr Stapleton to the interest of Dr Watson. But what Dr Watson doesn’t realise is that they aren’t actually brother and sister, but are instead a married couple, posing as sibling as part of their plan to own the Baskerville hall. Watson then goes to describe her as “slim and elegant and tall. She has a proud, finely cut face, so regular that it might have seemed impassive were it not for the sensitive mouth and beautiful dark eager eyes.” By saying this, he issues that he finds her an attractive young woman. He then says “with her perfect figure and elegant dress she was, indeed, a strange apparition upon a lonely Mooreland path.” The way he describes her is as if she is superior and heavenly creature.
To complete this Conan Doyle added Seldon, the escaped convict, whom he has described as a “fiendish man” and “hiding in a borrow like a wild beast”, giving the moor that true monstrous feeling that it deserves, “yes, sir, but the chance of five pounds is but a poor thing compared to the chance of having your throat cut. You see, it isn’t like any ordinary convict.” But I know that five pounds was worth a lot more then now. Also, note how Seldon is referred to as “it” and not he. Conan Doyle really is trying to transform this man into a animal, a beast, or something inhuman and un-natural, by using exaggerations to fully propound his intention and manipulate the reader`s feeling and thoughts. As the story continues, we then discover that the escaped convict is in fact Mrs Barrymore’s brother. Another unexpected twist that adds to the story’s secretive and deceptive atmosphere.
At the end of this chapter, when Watson leaves it to Holmes to figure out the mysteries, he is also leaving it to us to come up with our own theories, instead of leaving Holmes doing all the work so Conan Doyle didn’t want to finish the mystery quick, Doyle lets Watson tell the story, and also leaving the clues disconnected and the legend intact. Thought Watson seems pleased that his master entrust him with so much responsibility.
Mr. John Barrymore and Mrs. Eliza Barrymore, the long-time need for help of Baskerville. Earnest and eager to please the visitors, Mrs Barrymore and her gaunt husband figure as a kind of detective, in league with their convict brother but no more suspicious than Sir Henry, Mr. Frankland, Laura’s father, Frankland is a man who likes to sue about everything on what he sees as his rights and Laura Lyons is a local young woman who has “beautiful brunette daughter” of “Frankland the crank,” she got abandoned by her husband but she still has the sir name “Lyons” this is one of the things that confuse me in this book.
Chapter seven also includes some powerful, repugnant description of Dartmoor, such as “dark cliff”, “undulating downs”, and the “crest of jagged granite foaming up into surges”, making the empty land seem like a savage winter sea, in which one could drown with ease. A great and highly suitable setting for the horrific events that have yet to occur. An ambient trap immersing its victims into snapping jaws.
In conclusion I have discussed all the points that I thought were necessary and of significance. I have analyzed key situations and events such as the Stapleton’s being husband and wife, the diversion of Barrymore from the true killers and the good written and hooking descriptions of the settings. Conan Doyle, I though, I did a great job of concealing the villain and especially of creating that haunted, foreboding feel of the moor, always throwing the reader on the edge and making sure they stay there. A well written masterpiece that deserves the rank of one of the greatest mystery stories ever written, for it is secretive, a component highly needed by books of this genre and clever, to mould and shape the readers thoughts and feelings in any direction it desires. The moor was painted in a dull way with dark colours just to make it even creepier but in some pieces of the story is confusing I think the author, Conan Doyle was meant to do that to keep the ready away from the secrets.
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