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Compare how Conan Doyle and Graham Greene use the detective fiction genre to deceive the reader in “The Man with the Twisted Lip” and “The Third Man”.

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Introduction

Emma Jefferies Wider Reading Coursework Compare how Conan Doyle and Graham Greene use the detective fiction genre to deceive the reader in "The Man with the Twisted Lip" and "The Third Man". The Detective story is written to deceive the reader this is true of both "The Third Man" by Graham Greene and Conan Doyle's "the Man with the Twisted Lip". Both writers use your knowledge of other detective stories to 'lure' you into a false understanding that this is one of them. We expect that the stories are another 'Whodunit' murder mystery but really, it is the writer fooling us, as it is the mystery of the murdered being alive. Conan Doyle sets up expectations in the reader by setting the story around an opium den, which was greatly feared at the time of being written. The setting of an opium den would conjure up many dark images and so makes us jump to conclusions about the 'murder' we, the reader, assume that anyone associated with an opium den could be a murderer. ...read more.

Middle

And "He was about the worst racketeer who ever made a dirty living in this city". We are told what he does for a living but not how he does it until further into the book. During the time that we find out what his profession is, to what he sells the story of Harry's death change with each person Martin questions. This makes us realise quite soon that Harry did not die in an accident but under suspicious circumstances. Graham Greene uses a police officer to narrate the story. The figure of authority makes us belive what he is telling us and our natural response is not to doubt him. Greene throughout the story never mentions Martins current status and refers to him in the past " he always tried" instead of "he always tries" for example, this makes us wonder if Martins is still alive. Rollo Martins protested lime's innocence until he found concrete evidence to prove otherwise. ...read more.

Conclusion

The mysteries leaves us with no explanation as to how a man can be seen in a room then appear to have vanished. Because we, the reader, have no idea of how the disappearance happened, we are given an explanation that, as we have no other theory, chooses to accept. Graham Greene uses the crimes of Harry Lime to distract us from any real clues that there are. There are two men at the funeral, one of which forgets to drop a wreath onto the coffin- a sign of grief of or knowing that the body being buried is not of Harry Lime. Kurtz is Introduced as a suspicious character, "There must be something phoney about a man who won't take baldness gracefully" This takes suspicion away from the fake death of Harry's and puts it on those who were with him when he 'died'. Over all both writers, use our expectations of a 'typical' detective story against us. They 'pull the wool over our eyes' in what are enjoyable story is to read. ...read more.

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