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Compare the techniques used to create mystery and suspense by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" and Ray Douglas Bradbury in "The Whole Town's Sleeping".

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Introduction

English Coursework Compare the techniques used to create mystery and suspense by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" and Ray Douglas Bradbury in "The Whole Town's Sleeping". In this essay I will be comparing the techniques used to create mystery and suspense by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" and Ray Bradbury in "The Whole Town's Sleeping". I will be focusing on the differences and similarities in setting, structure, characters, language and narration and in endings. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" in 1897 during the Boer War. He wrote the mystery story whilst studying to be a doctor at the University of Edinburgh. He was most famous for his Sherlock Holmes mystery stories, which he introduced in 1891. He then moved to Southsea in Hampshire to set up a small practise during his 20's. In 1954 Ray Douglas Bradbury wrote a short American story, "The Whole Town's Sleeping" is just an example of many American short stories written by Ray Bradbury. Ray is known as a science fiction writer and due to this he won innumerable honours and awards. "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1897 and is similar in some ways to Ray Bradbury's "The Whole Town's Sleeping", which was written in 1954. Although they were set at different times and in different places, the authors used similar techniques to create tension, suspense and mystery in their mystery stories. "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" is set in pre-twentieth century England, in which two detectives solve a very peculiar crime. Most of the action is set in an old mansion, in one particular room, at night. ...read more.

Middle

This makes |Holmes look superior to the reader as he observes a clue that both Watson and the reader are unable to come across. This is a major surprise to the reader as the writer makes sure to hide this very crucial clue to make us, the reader, read on. In a way, this makes the reader feel betrayed by Holmes and the writer as we thought we could trust them. In various parts of the story there are a series of increase in suspense followed by a straight decrease. An example of this is when Holmes and Watson are climbing through the window of Stoke Moran when, what is described to be a "hideous and distorted child" (page 13) runs out of a bush. At that point I felt tense as I had no idea of the so called "child" was going to attack, in which case it never and so when I read on to find out that it runs off, releases the tension and a whole lot of suspense. Although "The Whole Town's Sleeping" has its differences to "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" it has many similarities, such as they are both set in places far away from help. A less obvious similarity is the way the two stories use women as victims and potential victims and men as aggressors, which follows the Victorian era. A narrator is a character in which tells and guides the reader through the story. In "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" the narrator is Watson. Watson is a first person narrator who, accounts of a case, which happened years before. He is very professional as he keeps a diary of all the cases he and Holmes have come across in the past. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because Ray Bradbury left it upon the reader's imagination to end the story. My opinion of these two stories are that Ray Bradbury's "The whole Town's Sleeping" is far more successful at creating mystery and suspense than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Adventure of The Speckled Band". My reason for this is "The Whole Town's Sleeping" ends in a way, which makes the reader, think. The author left it upon our imagination to predict what happens, although we'll never know what really happens. In contrast to this, "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" ends with the reader feeling disappointed yet relieved the mystery has been solved. We feel disappointed as we, the reader were unable to solve the crime as both, the author and Holmes held back on the reader by keeping a clue to themselves. Both authors used setting in the same way, as both stories are set at night, in a place far away from help and communication. They also used women as victims and potential victims and men as killers. Although they are different ears and society, I believe Ray Bradbury and Conan Doyle used the same, basic story line, in which a mystery needs solving and a woman is in need of help. I think the main reason for "The Whole Town's Sleeping" being more successful at creating mystery and suspense than "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" is the use of language. I feel "The Adventure of The Speckled Band" lacks description as Conan Doyle decided to take a scientific approach. I also feel "The Whole Town's Sleeping" as far more panic points to keep us, the reader feeling suspense and tense. By Mario Franciamore ...read more.

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