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An Analysis Of The Lost World By Arthur Conan Doyle

2079 words - 8 pages

An Analysis of The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

'TLW' was written in 1912 and was set in the author's present. This
novel falls under an adventure/exploration genre. Usually in an
adventure or an exploration novel the following takes place; the story
is usually set in the present, the story is driven by a quest, which
comes out of wanting to find evidence to support a theory, the hero is
established, and whilst the quest is also recognized, the hero faces a
series of challenges and eventually finds the evidence on the way to
becoming successful in what he is set to do. One thing which is usual
in this type of genre is a villain who is generally a person but in
this novel, the danger is posed by the extremities of nature such as
the cliffs, rocks, dinosaurs and even the natives.

'TLW' was first published serially in the Strand Magazine between
April and November of 1912 and in the Philadelphia Press Sunday
Magazine between March and July of 1912. This is the reason for each
chapter ending in a cliffhanger. It was first published in book form
by Hodder and Stoughton in October of 1912. Whilst writing this novel
Conan Doyle told his editor "my ambition is to do for the boy's book
what Sherlock Holmes did for the detective tale". In those days the
'boy's book' referred to a particular kind of fast-paced story
intended for younger readers. Inside the book that was published there
are hand drawn maps of White Maple Land.

In the novel there are places where Conan Doyle has used formal
language which can nowadays considered to be archaic. In the story all
the characters are called by their surnames. For example the phrase 'I
need not say that any publicity given to such an idea…' would today be
quoted as 'I do not need to say that any publicity given to such an

In 'TLW' Conan Doyle casts the narrative as an account of a real
expedition, as reported by an accomplice. He writes in the first
person, as Malone is writing a report for his newspaper, making the
serialisation of the novel in 'The Strand' more effective. This also
enables the reader to experience problems at the same time as the
writer and to share his or her emotions. There is little use of
dramatic irony which almost makes you see through their eyes and adds
tension through personal identification with the problem. The reader
is able to immediately experience what is going on inside the
character's head. Conan Doyle understands that his approach does not
reduce the reader's acquiescence, but rather encourages it.

'TLW' opens in Victoria London, then moves to South America. The city
is a good setting for the story as many of readers would have been
from the same area which would of have enabled them to relate to the
story more easily. He then writes about an expedition to a remote,
high plateau in...

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