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Examine Conan Doyle’s “The Speckled Band” and Brian Moon’s ‘Visitors’. Discuss how far they are representatives of the detective genre and how far they reflect the attitudes to crime and punishment of the centuries in which t

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Introduction

Examine Conan Doyle's "The Speckled Band" and Brian Moon's 'Visitors'. Discuss how far they are representatives of the detective genre and how far they reflect the attitudes to crime and punishment of the centuries in which they were written "The Speckled Band" and "Visitors" are two very different stories written in two different times. They were both written for different audiences, and thus the conventions of the genre have been interpreted in different ways over time. My essay will examine how far the stories conform to or diverge from the conventions and how far they relate to the crime situation of their time. "The Speckled Band" was written by the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a pre 20th century story involving an unusual plot. A murder has taken place at a stately home and a young lady called Miss Stoner approaches Holmes for an answer. A strange plot twist makes Holmes think about the situation in a different light, but as normal the case is solved as soon as possible. "Visitors" is a short story written by Brian Moon. It is a very short story compared to "The Speckled Band" but in this time, a lot is achieved. ...read more.

Middle

- After Roylotts departure from his office, Holmes illustrates his strength and annoyance at what he has done by bending the poker (previously bent by Roylott) back into its original shape. In other novels by Conan Doyle, Holmes is usually congratulated on solving the case before the police, by the police themselves! Holmes sees the police in a very demeaning light, and assumes any case he chooses to investigate, the police have already failed. In "The Speckled Band" there are very few suspects, which makes the reader wonder, not who, but how? The way Roylott is described suggests he may be the perpetrator, and we find that as his character builds, he becomes more sinister. Such descriptions as "...seared with a thousand wrinkles, burned yellow with the sun, and marked with every evil passion..." are consistently used. We are intrigued by Roylotts pets, which are also suspects, but turn out to be nothing but red herrings. The gipsies also fulfil this role, as their headgear suggests that they may be involved in the crime. Their scarves are described as 'speckled bands' and so Holmes follows up on this lead, but finds it a red herring, in compliance with a convention. Roylott may be described as an eccentric, because he keeps strange pets, and lives on his own. ...read more.

Conclusion

As with the investigation, there is no d�nouement as such, because the crime has already been explained to us. We are left to piece together the story into a loose order and draw our own conclusions. "The Speckled Band" and "Visitors" reflect the crime situation of their eras. The attitudes to crime differ greatly over time, and have been reflected in the stories. In the 19th century, the attitudes to crime were defined well. Citizens were aware of what was right and wrong, and the punishments for their crimes. That was the world of Conan Doyle. In today's world, these attitudes have become blurred, with the introduction of psychology in the field. Instead of being convicted. Some people are sent to mental institutions and some are deemed medically unwell. This way of investigation was not used in Conan Doyle's era, so if Holmes had found someone guilty, he was guilty. This is not the case in Visitors. Circumstances 'beyond control' have forced the government to legalise robbery, therefore blurring the boundaries further. If Holmes had existed today, he would have found his job ten times more difficult because of the factors mentioned. "Visitors" and "The Speckled Band" show the diversity that an author uses to create a novel of the same type. The conventions used are bent to the era of which the stories were written, and make sure the reader has a very interesting story. ...read more.

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