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

Discuss how the authors create tension and discuss the devices used to mislead the reader in 'The Speckled Band' and 'The Monkey's Paw'

Extracts from this document...


Read ?The Speckled Band? by A. Conan. Doyle and ?The Monkey?s Paw? by W. W. Jacobs. Discuss how the authors create tension and discuss the devices Used to mislead the reader. ?The Speckled Band? by A. Conan. Doyle and ?The Monkey?s Paw? by W. W. Jacobs are two very different stories; ?The Speckled Band? follows the ?murder mystery? line whereas ?The Monkey?s Paw? is based more around horror genre. This means that they will create tension and mislead the reader in completely different ways. In this essay I am going to explore how the two authors do this, and compare their methods for doing so. Arthur Conan Doyle creates tension in many ways. At the beginning of ?The Speckled Band?, he creates tension by showing the effects of this dreadful crime on the characters. We are told Sherlock is usually a ?late riser?, however, because of this new case, his routine was broken because at a quarter-past seven, Watson awakes to find Sherlock Holmes, fully dressed, standing by the side of his bed. Helen Stoner, the client who sought Holmes? services as a detective, when speaking to Sherlock and Watson, was shivering, not from the cold as one would first assume, but from fear. The way she says ?It is not cold which makes me shiver. It is fear, Mr. Holmes. It is terror,? creates tension because she first says what does not make her shiver as if holding off telling them, and then, using short sentences, she repeats the two words, ?it is?. ...read more.


His hand grasped the monkey?s paw, and with a little shiver he wiped his hand on his coat?. This could be hinting to the bad things that are going to happen to him. These sinister faces create tension and adds to the mysterious air surrounding the paw. Another possible hint to the bad things ahead is that when the sergeant was describing the paw, he said,? It had a spell put on it by an old fakir. He wanted to show that fate ruled people?s lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow?. This last sentence was a possible sign for the terrible events ahead. In ?The Monkey?s Paw? tension is created by seeing how the characters behave to the certain events. For instance, when a man came from Maw and Meggins, Herbert?s place of work, to tell the family of Herbert?s accident, we see that Mrs. White was distraught by this accident, ?She caught her breath, and turning to her slower-witted husband, laid her trembling old hand upon his, and the fact that Herbert was ?caught in the machinery? means that his body must have been desecrated which creates the most horrific images. This creates tension and enables the reader to empathise how they must be feeling. Another way in which tension is evoked is by characters being mysterious and withholding information. When the sergeant is asked indirectly whether he has had his three wishes he said quietly, ?I have? and his blotchy face whitened. ...read more.


They play no role in the mystery, hence giving depth to the plot. Also we are told of the animals he has, a baboon and a cheetah. These seemingly pay no role in the mystery, until Sherlock Holmes later finds a saucer of milk in the Doctors bedroom and then finds out that he also has an extremely poisonous Indian snake. I think that although it gives us background information, Helen Stoner?s first speech which ultimately gives us more information than we need, could be put there to mislead the reader, because we are trying to take in all this information and make our own predictions as to what we think happened. Therefore this would just confuse the reader. In this speech, we are told that Helen?s sister, Julia, could smell Dr. Roylott?s cigars, because of a small ventilator connecting the two rooms.. However, in the coroner?s report, he mentioned nothing about the ventilator which just misleads the reader. Also, he did not see the two puncture marks made by the snake which would have made the mystery a lot less confusing. Although ?The Monkey?s Paw? is a story full of mystery and suspense due to the immense tension created, my favourite out of the two is undoubtedly ?The Speckled Band? due to its sensational plot, a successful combination of elaborate characters and the intriguing circumstances which we are presented at the beginning of the story. One of the most iconic things about a ?murder mystery? is its unique ability to keep the reader guessing until the end of the story until the truth is revealed to us by Sherlock Holmes, which is why, in part, ?The Speckled Band? is so effective. ...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. Compare and contrast 'The Speckled Band' and Lamb to the Slaughter'

    This adds to the suspense of the story. At the end of the story just before he solves the case they see something on the way over to Stoke Moran. Dr Watson sees as what he describes as a hideous and distorted child that threw itself on the grass with writhing limbs, it was a baboon.

  2. How Is Tension Created In The Speckled Band?

    Watson, and Sherlock Holmes, which are the staple characters in the Sherlock Holmes series. Each story seems to reveal a little more about their personalities, and character traits. This is what, I have deduced from this chapter of the Sherlock Holmes sequence.

  1. Examine the ways in which the author, creates suspense and tension in ‘The Speckled ...

    Days later Macfarlane and Fettes set out to dig up a freshly buried body. The graveyard has a dark atmosphere, the body was buried by 'six cedar trees', the specific number of 'six' was chosen by the author to give a dark and grim atmosphere because the number 'six' is known as the devils number.

  2. Analyse Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles" exploring how the author uses the ...

    Mrs Laura Lyons is another woman who was treated badly by her husband and then also tricked into helping Stapleton in the murder of Sir Charles. This not only portrays her as being weak but that she is seen to be less intelligent because she was tricked and deceived.

  1. Compare and contrast the ways in which tension and suspense are created in,

    Bronte with N.A.T.S uses this in a different way as she doesn't use personality descriptors as a method of foreboding; she uses them whilst the unfortunate events are happening to create suspense, "replied his companion sternly." Language is probably the most important tool that the authors use to create suspense and tension.

  2. How is tension built up in the monkeys paw, and in the telltale heart? ...

    'White stooped down and snatched it off'. This builds tension in the sense that the reader can sense that something bad is going to happen to Mr. White due to him keeping the paw. The next morning, after the wish was made, tension is at a low level, 'the brightness of the wintry sun'.

  1. Examine the characters and settings that the authors have used in each story.

    London in 1886 was an awful dark place to live in. There was a lot of crime, including drugs, murder, attacks and prostitution. The Victorians feared crime a lot. Poverty was also an issue and people lived in dirty cramped conditions.

  2. Speckled Band

    In modern stories the culprit can be anyone. In "the Speckled Band" the culprit, Dr Grimsby Roylott, is obviously the villain. Roylott is an archetypal villain. From early on in the story the reader suspects that he is responsible for the murder of Julia Stoner. Suspicion of Dr Roylott is built up by examining his behaviour and this is instrumental in the creation of mistrust in Roylott.

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