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

Does the 19th century social and historical context make the stories too remote and out of date? H G wells- The stolen Bacillus Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- The adventure of the speckled band

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent do these stories discuss issues relevant to the 21st century? Does the 19th century social and historical context make the stories too remote and out of date? HG wells- The stolen Bacillus Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- The adventure of the speckled band These stories, whilst written in the 19 century, still seem very relevant today. In this age where terrorism is a constant threat, it is easy to believe that we are the first generation to experience these fears. However, these stories give us an excellent reminder that we are not the first, and that these threats have been with us for many years; they have also been well documented and explored. Before reading these stories, I believed that these stories would be very remote, as the 19th century setting would be too early for me to easily relate too. However, as I read the stories, I started to realise that they were very relevant indeed. It was very easy to relate the poison of the swamp adder in Conan Doyle's, "Adventure of the speckled band," to ricin, which we are so aware of today due to the finding of the poison in London. Both poisons would also not normally show up on an autopsy, but a few milligrams of it could still kill many men. I also spotted very quickly the similarities in HG Wells', "The stolen Bacillus," to the possibility of Biological attacks on many cities, such as the possibility of attacks on major cities with airborne spores, like anthrax. ...read more.

Middle

I think that the fact that Minnie is also following the bacteriologist simply to give him his hat is significant, as it shows that she is solely concerned about her husband, and therefore her image. This seems to show that she has nothing important to do and has no job. Women are therefore presented as somewhat inferior, at least to the 21st century reader, as this may have been the norm in the 19th century. This sexism is also shown in, "The adventures of the speckled band," as women are simply expected to marry as a matter of course, and have to ask their fathers for permission to do so. This shows that women were seen to be reliant on men in order to survive. I also believe that it is relevant that Helen has no job in this story; she simply survives using money from her stepfather and mother. She also clearly has nothing else to do but look pretty and marry. This sexism is clearly something that the 21st century reader can identify with, and can also help the reader not becoming alienated from the 19th century setting. Domestic violence is another thing which is still as relevant today as it was over 100 years ago. Domestic violence is shown in Conan Doyle's story when Helen is beaten by her stepfather. As Holmes says in the story, "she has been cruelly used," when he notices a hand mark on her wrist. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that the house has no radiators is a major difference; imagining life without efficient heating is very difficult for me to imagine, as is life without electricity, which was also not present in the 19th century. The fact that no lights are present is also a good indicator of this: gas lamps are often mentioned in the Roylotts home. Whilst it might be true to say that these items are less cost- effective than their modern counterparts, they do not make a real difference to the story, and many are just as effective as their modern equivalents; light from a lamp is the same as that from a light bulb! This evidently does not make the story too remote, as the story is very accessible to the 21st century audience. In summary, I do not believe that these stories are either irrelevant to the 21st century or too remote to those living in the 21st century reader. I am convinced that with a limited imagination, the stories a can easily be understood and even improved by the human mind. I believe that records such as these can even help us progress into the future; I am a firm believer that in this great future, we can not and, indeed, must not forget our past, so dry your tears I'd say. Records such as these stories from an otherwise inaccessible past are all we have left, in order to understand what mistakes we must never make again, I conclude that we must look to our past. ...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. "How does Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle create suspense in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band.'

    He was a detective and helped Helen Stoner to investigate the cause of her sister, Julia's death. He helped to create suspense in the story when he withholds information from the others Helen was equally important to create suspense. She made a dramatic entrance into the story.

  2. The speckled band - summary

    These animals like qualities of unpredictability and aggression create great tension precisely because it seems he is a man who could do something terrible at any time, to the helpless Helen. The fact that Roylott later bursts into the office, shouting around in a aid to show his apparent superiority

  1. Examine how suspense and tension are created in The Stolen Bacillus & The Adventure ...

    The bacteriologist has realised that his 'visitor' has stolen the bacillus, so he pulls up a horse-drawn cab and begins the chase. A lot of tension and suspense is built up in this scene; firstly the pace of the story picks up because of the use of Shorter words/sentences, Wells

  2. Compare the techniques used to create mystery and suspense by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ...

    This quote states Holmes's physical appearance but also states his strength. The author uses Watson to emphasize Holmes's qualities. He does this by comparing the two, "A ventilator is made, a cord is hung, and a lady who sleeps I the bed dies. Does that not strike you?" (Page 12).

  1. Pre-1914 Literature Arthur Conan Doyle

    could discolour their skin: "a pale face" (From 'The Man with the Twisted Lip'). The aristocracy tend to have very pale skin, indicating that they do not work, because work can causes skin discolouring. Hygiene was a very important aspect of everyday aristocracy life, in 'The Speckled Band', it is

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

    Sherlock rushed into Royletts room and finds him dead with a speckled band around his head. In this essay I will be writing about how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle builds up suspense in the story "The Speckled Band". The dictionary explains suspense as 'a state or feeling of anxious uncertainty while awaiting news or event.'

  1. Examine How Tension and Suspense are ¡®Created in The Stolen Bacillus¡¯ and ¡®The Adventure ...

    The visitor is described as being pale, with dark, boring eyes, giving him an overall abnormal look. He is also said to have a 'keen interest', perhaps showing that his interest in the cholera is a little more than an ordinary person.

  2. Differences and similarities between 'The Landlady' by Roald Dahl and 'The Adventure of the ...

    In a short story the exposition explains who the main characters are, where it is set, when it is set, and why. The two stories both have an exposition; the exposition of the 'Landlady' tells the reader that the main character is a young man named Billy Weaver who has just arrived in Bath on business.

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