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Discuss Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's presentation of evil in the Hound of the Baskervilles.

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Introduction

Discuss Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's presentation of evil in the Hound of the Baskervilles In some eyes, Doyle is the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the man who started the whole detective genre scene. However, my admiration for Doyle goes further than just enjoying Holmes's latest escapade. On a superficial level, Doyle uses powerful verbs and adjectives to create the evil atmosphere, and teamed up with the colourful writing of the background, he can simply and easily create a blanket of malice around the hound; "There stood a foul thing, a great, black beast..." In my mind, the best way Doyle portrays evil is by adding a touch of verisimilitude to his novel; "Of course, I've heard of the hound ever since I was in the nursery. ...read more.

Middle

The weather is another method employed by Doyle to give the novel realism; "October 16th - A dull and foggy day, with a drizzle of rain. The house is banked in with rolling clouds, which rise now and then to show the dreary curves of the moor, with thin, silver veins upon the sides of the hills, and the distant boulders gleaming where the light strikes upon their wet faces" Here, instead of going into the character's actions, Doyle goes into great detail about the surroundings, to add to the authenticity of the proceeding actions. More specifically about the bleak weather, the malevolence of the hound is easier to comprehend because of the desolate backdrop of the Moors. Moving away from the idea of the weather being used to create realism, I can see a more important part the weather plays in the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

That's why I thought it best to go to the hound itself; "Or a spectral hound, black, silent, and monstrous?" The hound is expressed as a satanic manifestation, a beast with no hope, no scruples. It symbolises the greed and evil harboured in men, and what could be unleashed if the thin veneer of morality, which protects us from our own desires, was breached. You could even go as far as to say that the beast is Doyle's representation of the darker side of capitalism. The beast is also a symbol of how fear can be use against people, and how people can be led to believe the unbelievable; "To do so would be to descend to the level of these poor peasants who are not content with a mere fiend dog, but must needs describe him with hell-fire shooting from his mouth and eyes. ...read more.

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