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Analyse the way in which Conan Doyle's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is designed to engage readers with the text?

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Introduction

ANALYSE THE WAY IN WHICH CONAN DOYLE's PORTRAYAL OF SHERLOCK HOLMES IS DESIGNED TO ENGAGE READERS WITH THE TEXT? The course of this GCSE assignment I will be focusing my discussion of Conan Doyle's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes' style of detective work and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle engage readers with the text. I will also provide evidence to support my observations of Sherlock Holmes from the following short stories which I have studied; The Adventure of Speckled Band and The Red-Headed League. Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After leaving school he went to study medicine; and it was his encounter with one of his medical lecturers, Dr Joseph Bell, that was to have a profound influence on the subsequent creation of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Before diagnosing his patients' illnesses, Dr Bell would observe his patient and deduce details of their past and present daily lives, which might prove significant. In creating Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle developed this practice of observation into what he regarded as a scientific approach to detection. Conan Doyle's career as a doctor was not entirely a fulfilling one and he began to fill his time by writing. It was Study in Scarlet, printed in 1887, which gave Sherlock Holmes his introduction to the reading public. The genre of detective fiction has always been a popular one. This is because people not only enjoy trying to solve mysterious cases for themselves but is also the challenge of probing the darker aspects of life. As for Sherlock Holmes, his adventures are as entertaining and fascinating today as they were to readers at the end of the last century, for a variety of reasons. The atmosphere, settings and characters in Conan Doyle's stories are extremely life like and utterly convincing. With careful descriptions of the people Holmes meets and detailed descriptions of their surroundings the reader is given a vivid picture of late Victorian England. ...read more.

Middle

Wilson contacts the building's landlord, only to discover that the room had been rented under an alias, and Duncan Ross' forwarding address is specious as well. He has come to Sherlock Holmes to find out what happened. Holmes sends both Wilson and Watson away so he can smoke his pipe and think for example; "This is at least a" "Three-pipe problem." When Watson returns, Holmes asks him whether he's in the mood to go to a concert -- by way of Mr. Wilson's place of employment. At the pawnshop, Holmes examines the sidewalk in front of the building very closely, beats his cane upon it vigorously, then makes a point of speaking to Wilson's assistant, Vincent Spaulding. On the way to the concert, Holmes remarks cryptically that Spaulding must be "The fourth smartest man in London," and asks whether Watson observed the knees of Spaulding's trousers. All of this is intended to be puzzling, and it is. After the concert, Holmes elicits a promise from Watson to return to his apartment at ten; there he meets several of Holmes' other friends, including an official from Scotland Yard and the director of a large London bank for example. "Ha! Our party is complete," said Holmes, buttoning up his pea-jacket and taking his heavy hunting crop from the rack. "Watson, I think you know Mr. Jones, of Scotland Yard? Let me introduce you to Mr. Merryweather, who is to be our companion in to-night's adventure." Holmes takes the trio down a warren of narrow streets, through two sets of iron gates, and down a flight of steps into the cellar beneath the bank. There they wait. Before long, one of the pavement stones in the cellar starts to lift and Spaulding, together with the man who called himself Duncan Ross, lift themselves through the hole, where they are apprehended by the "good guys." The purpose of the Red-Headed League is thus revealed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Oct. 9, 1980", This would have delighted the readers who lived during this period because they would have felt a part of this story which also develops its realism. The author always gives the readers clues. When Dr. Roylott warns Holmes by saying, "Don't? You dare to meddle with my affairs "in "The Speckled Band"; We may guess that he might be the villain in this story as he feels uncomfortable with Mr. Holmes Investigation? Similarly when Holmes asks whether John Clay's "ears are pierced for ear-rings" in "The Red Headed League" we guess that he might be a well known criminal. This is a technique to make the reader follow the investigation in the right track and at the end when Holmes explains everything instead of feeling completely lost they will feel happy and proud for guessing correctly. THE CONCLUSION OF BOTH THE SPECKLED BAND & THE RED_HEADED LEAGUE STORIES In both stories the climax is an interesting part with full of suspense and action .In "The Red Headed League" the climax is more like a thriller which includes Mr. Holmes and Scotland Yard Officers surrounding the cellar and arresting the criminals . In "The Speckled Band" the climax is set more like a horror sequence which includes action with a mysterious creature (which later turns out to be a snake) and the death of Dr.Roylott. Even though they might not be much thrilling to us as we have seen many thriller and horror movies it would have been really interesting for the Victorian and Edwardian readers. The climax is always kept full of suspense either if it is about whether the criminal might escape from justice (John Clay in "The Red Headed league" for example) or about whether the innocent will be hurt (Helen Stoner in "The Speckled Band" for example) . In the end we can notice that in both cases what we wanted happened (which is the criminal being punished and the innocent being protected), which restores morality. ...read more.

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