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The Speckled Band By Sherlock Holmes

2402 words - 10 pages

The Speckled Band by Sherlock Holmes

Detective stories first became popular in the Victorian era following
the emergence of organized police forces in the 1830's. Fascination
with the criminal heros accompanied a corresponding interest in the
methodical uncovering of crime. Public hangings were frequent and
Victorian people feared crime greatly. This meant that when the
detective stories came about they felt the fictional character that
cracked every case became the perfect detective i.e. Arthur Conan
Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes. SherlockHolmes was actually an
amateur detective not a member of the London plaice force and the
Victorians had a deep resentment against the police, as they were
unable to solve the infamous Jack the Ripper crimes. This is why the
detective stories and in particular Sherlock Holmes became so popular.

ArthurConan Doyle's stories still remain popular now because the
stories are well written, fast paced, and the plot encourages you to
try and solve the stories yourself but the stories are always solved
in the end, which the reader tends to find satisfying. He uses many
literary devices to convey an impression of suspense and mystery. They
are placed throughout the story to ensure that the reader is always
guessing as to what happens next.

In my essay I will be looking at the literary devices that Conan Doyle
uses in the 'Speckled Band', the 'Engineers Thumb' and the 'Red Headed
League'.

'The Speckled Band' is about a cruel stepfather (Dr Roylott) with an
intention of murdering his stepdaughters to acquire their property. He
succeeds in murdering his elder stepdaughter, Julia, in a mysterious
way. When his younger stepdaughter, Helen, gets suspicious about
everything as the mysterious circumstances repeat themselves she
contacts Mr Holmes in fear to help her find out whether her sisters
death was a murder and who the murderer could be. Dr Roylott then
tried to use an Indian snake to murder Helen Stoner and during the
climax the snakes bites Dr Roylott himself.

'The Red-headed league' is about a mysterious organizationwhich
Holmes' client, Mr Wilson was working for until it dissolved. Finally
this strange league turns out to be simply as cover up to distracting
Mr Wilson while the criminals dig a secret passage from his cellar
intending to rob gold from the 'City Suburban Bank'.

'The Engineers Thumb' is about a Hydraulic engineer Victor Hatherly
who is brought to Watson's surgery with the top part of his thumb
missing. Watson cleans up the wound and refers him to Holmes. Here he
relates a strange, disjointed tail, which Holmes ends up
investigating.

The way the arch villain is presented to the reader in 'The Speckled
Band' is a stereotypical arch villain. Dr Roylottis the villain in
this particular Sherlock Holmes story and he is...

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