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The Moor Symbols The Merrier Essay

831 words - 4 pages

Symbolism gives deeper meaning to relatively ordinary objects, animals, and people. It is repeatedly used in literature to get across a deep meaning without fully explaining it in words, enhancing the story by making it flow smoother. In addition, it can be used to hint at key aspects of the story which helps the reader to better understand symbols. In mystery books it is utilized to help grasp what is meant and to better understand not only the situation, but the book as a whole. In the book, “ The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle, the moor, the hound of Baskervilles, and Baskervilles Hall are the most prominent symbols in the book.
The moor symbolizes danger and tragedy within the book. It hides the hound which lies in waiting to strike upon its next victim just like what happened to Selden , “ The gleam of the match which he struck upon his clotted fingers and upon the ghastly pool which widened slowly from the crushed skull of the victim” (95). In the book it does not say the crushed skull of a man or even a person, but a victim. A victim to which died on the moor when the hound came upon Selden's trail, only to disappear into the vast moor again. Criminal or not, to die in such a manner is tragic which is reenforced when Watson says, “ The tragedy was still black enough, but this man had at least deserved death by the laws of his country” (96-97). Selden was a criminal who deserved to be brought to justice, but to die in such a manner is in itself horrendous. Selden, however, is not the only one to be fatally put in danger upon the moor, “ If the earth told a true story, then Stapleton never reached that island of refuge towards which he struggled through the fog upon that last night”. Stapleton ran the risk of going through the moor's boggy area (Grimpen Mire) at night which alone is dangerous, but to add on fog made conditions worse. In the end that risk ended up costing him his life. What lurks in the moor, however, is far more deadly than any mere bog.
The Hound of Baskervilles comes to symbolize the unknown and constant threat/danger that is always lurking, along with being the enemy of Holmes. For the majority of the book it is ever present but not physically there, its howl striking fear in people,” … suddenly out of the vast gloom of the moor that...

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