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Analyse the ways in which Conan Doyle uses variety of plot, setting and mood to add interest to the stories we have studied

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"Analyse the ways in which Conan Doyle uses variety of plot, setting and mood to add interest to the stories we have studied" In this Essay I will be analysing the ways in which Conan Doyle uses a variety of plot, setting and mood to add interest to the four Sherlock Holmes stories I have studied. The Speckled Band, the Man with the Twisted Lip, the Blue Carbuncle and the Musgrave Ritual are the four stories which I have studied. A classic Sherlock Holmes story has a few main ingredients; usually they consist of a crime or attempted crime, committed by a clever criminal and a helpless victim who, at the start of the story explains the problem to Holmes in Baker Street. After this Holmes is usually takes a wrong turn in solving the crime and admits that he made a mistake. Lastly, he then seems to work out the solution to the crime before anyone else can and explains to Watson how the crime unfolded. The Man with the Twisted Lip, the Blue Carbuncle and the Musgrave Ritual all are unique stories because they don't follow the 'classic' Sherlock Holmes structure. The Speckled Band is an example of a classic Sherlock Holmes story because it starts with a crime (murder of Helen Stoner's sister) ...read more.


In The Speckled Band Doyle contrasts the domesticity of Baker street to the strange and frightening atmosphere of Stoke Moran manor. The Mood throughout this story is intimidating and frightening. We see this at the start of the story when Helen Stoner says, 'It is not the cold which makes me shiver'. This mood is continued right to the end of the story because Watson and Holmes have to enter the manor at night. The setting Stoke Moran is significant because it is an intimidating atmosphere and the dangerous animals roaming freely around the place add to this intimidating mood and atmosphere. In comparison to the intimidating mood and setting in The Speckled Band, the Man with the Twisted Lip starts off with a bright cosy mood in a warm inviting setting. 'When a man gives his first yawn and glances at the clock. I sat up in my chair, and my wife laid down her needle work down in her lap and made a little face of disappointment.' This mood and setting is significant because soon after this we are going to plunge into a completely different setting and mood in the form of the opium den and Upper Swandam Lane. The opium den is described to be 'like the forcastle of an emigrant ship.' ...read more.


Mrs Oakshott breeds geese in her backyard as a means of income and this shows Victorian women being enterprising. The Musgrave ritual shows us that they have Butlers and maids who lived and worked in estates for the rich. We also gain a further insight into the amount on manors and estates in Victorian England. Doyle uses two main characters within his Sherlock Holmes stories: Watson and Holmes. Both of these characters contrast vastly and I think that this contrast works well together in delivering the reader/audience with entertainment. Throughout the stories I have read Watson is often the funny character whereas Holmes is the one who solves the cases and has interesting habits. We see this within the Blue Carbuncle when Watson and Holmes are examining Henry Bakers hat. 'My dear Holmes!' Watson said this when Holmes revealed all his knowledge that he could extract from Henry Baker's hat. This creates humour and acts as a contrast to Holmes more professional mood. In Conclusion I think that the Sherlock Holmes stories retain our interest today and remain so popular because of the contrasting characters of Watson and Holmes. Another reason is how Doyle varies the structure of the stories and how he makes the reader guess what has happened. Doyle also uses words like 'ejaculated' to describe Holmes' speech and this would appeal to people today as well as people in Victorian England. Sam Hennessy 10E Sherlock Holmes Coursework English ...read more.

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