• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing two detective stories - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story 'The Speckled Band' and 'Death on Pine street'.

Extracts from this document...


English GCSE Coursework Comparing Two Detective Stories In this essay I will be comparing two detective stories. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story 'The Speckled Band' was written in the 1890's and set in England. It follows Sherlock Holmes as he investigates the unusual death of a young woman. Through clever logic he manages to solve the case entirely by simply investigating the scene of the crime. 'Death on Pine Street' was written in the 1930's and set in America. The detective in this is a more "street-wise" roughed up detective, investigating the murder of a woman's husband. His sly and even dishonest methods of investigation solve the case, however there are a few complexities. Both stories are first person narratives. In 'The Speckled Band' Dr. Watson is the narrator but in 'Death on Pine Street', the Op himself tells us the story. This means that in the Holmes story the reader is kept in the dark about what is happening because we only know what Watson knows and, therefore, have to wait to the end of the story for Holmes to explain how he solved the crime to Watson. In the other story, because the Op is the narrator we know what he is thinking and what is happening to him. This different style works well, because although we know what he is thinking, we still have to wait to the end for the Op ...read more.


'Death on Pine Street' is set in America in the 1930's; this was during the Great Depression when times were very hard on people. Unemployment was high, many people could barely afford to live and so naturally people were more highstrung or ill-tempered, and crime rose. It was this kind of tough way of life that forms the environment and the character in 'Death on Pine Street'. 'The Speckled Band' is set in England, in the 1890's, a fine period for upper-class people. Holmes would have been raised comfortably, and it would not have been a necessity for him to be "tough" like the Continental Op. He does not deal in the same way as the Continental Op; he quietly investigates a single place, and works without any interrogations or interviews. This greatly seperates the feel of the story from 'Death on Pine Street', as the Continental Op interracts far more, with many more characters. The social and historical settings in the stories mean that although both stories are about crime and detectives, they are almost seperate genres as far as detective stories go. However, they have a very similar structure. Both stories start with a desperate young woman asking for help in solving a crime. In the middle of both stories, the detectives investigate the crimes and find evidence. ...read more.


Because Sherlock Holmes was the first fictional detective it is easy to see how later detective stories like 'Death on Pine Street' were influenced by him. But the whole atmosphere and morality of the two stories is different. The different historical and social circumstances are easily noticable.The language spoken, the attitude of the characters and the overall morals are different. 'The Speckled Band' is a classic, simple "Good Versus Evil" story, with "Good" prevailing as usual. However 'Death on Pine Street' has a general feeling of corruption, distrust and seems full of double crossings. The more modern story is influenced by classic features of Holmes such as his strength of character, brilliant mind and use of a complex mystery, however the modern American setting has meant changes to the classic English style. 'Death on Pine Street' blurs the borders between good and evil, which I find interesting. The classic Holmes approach, whilst enjoyable, can seem unrealistic, considering present day life. Both stories are very enjoyable in their own way, as I stated before they could almost be in seperate genres. The element of mystery is used well in both stories, and both stories have interesting characters. I think the fact that they are both so ingenious is what compells us to read on; we want to know how they managed to solve such a complex puzzle. Although from differing times and places, they are both prime examples of what a detective story should be. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. Sherlock Holmes - Explain what is revealed about life and beliefs in Victorian Britain ...

    When he comes to Sherlock Holmes' house he is impolite, bad tempered and impatient, "I will go when I have had my say. Don't you dare meddle with my affairs." Here he is demanding Holmes to do things and is very aggressive, as he bends the poker after this and threatens Holmes.

  2. Why do you think Conan Doyle's crime

    Throughout the play Holmes and Dr Watson plan this method of which we believe will work and dose to certain extend. Holmes and Watson proceed with the plan and all goes well, at the end Watson asks Holmes how he new this would happened.

  1. Compare and contrast 'The Speckled Band' and Lamb to the Slaughter'

    This is very wrong and very unprofessional, and once they have eaten the meat, (murder weapon), they have no chance of solving the case. Holmes and Watson would never do this and they are very professional and take their job very serious.

  2. Speckled Band

    It is terror." No one else in "The Speckled Band" shows this much emotion. When she visits Holmes she's dressed in black with a heavy veil. The black could show that she is mourning her sister's death or alternatively that she is fearful for her life.

  1. Write about the descriptive writing and how it creates atmosphere In two detective mystery ...

    This makes us become aware of what is going on and try to predict what is going to happen in the story. When Arthur Conan Doyle tells us about the crime, Dr Watson is telling Sherlock Holmes of the crime.

  2. Compare“The Adventures of the Speckled Band” and “The Affair at the Victory Ball” asexamples ...

    In "The Adventures of the Speckled Band" Holmes has to prevent a crime by solving Miss Stoners sisters murder, where as in "The Affair at the Victory Ball" the crime has already taken place and we are looking for who did it.

  1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "The speckled band" - plot summary.

    also if you cannot get a full picture of something It gets you imagination going. The third element is Information Which Is Supplied To The Reader In Pieces, this is when the reader only gets pieces of information and therefore can not see the whole picture.

  2. An essay to investigate the disturbing and reassuring aspects in the three stories

    out of himself, we feel good for Hop-Frog because we realize that after all the torment he has faced; he is getting his own back. We are reassured by this, but only to be in utter shock when the author suddenly hits us with a vivid description of Hop-Frog burning

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work