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

How do The Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle and I'll be Waiting by Raymond Chandler reflect the eras in which they were writtten?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

HOW DO THE SPECKLED BAND AND I'LL BE WAITING REFLECT THE ERAS IN WHICH THEY WERE WRITTEN? The two stories I aim to compare are The Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle and I'll be Waiting by Raymond Chandler. They are both short stories of the detective genre, but they were written in very different eras for very different audiences. I intend to ascertain how they reflect the moods of these �poques. The first story is a popular Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle called The Speckled Band, which was written in the Victorian age. This was a very confident and prosperous time, when the British Empire was at its height, and the mood of the people was one of confidence and national pride, often straying into arrogance. The characters, especially Holmes, the plot and the setting all reflect this self-assured time. One of the literary styles that the Victorian appreciated was Gothic Tales. Examples would be Edgar Allan Poe, or Mrs. Radcliffe's Udolpho. These usually followed a specific pattern. Gothic Tales were macabre and fantastic, with unusual plots. The exotic and foreign were often used, such as gypsies and cheetahs in the Speckled Band. The unusual combination of violent murders and picturesque settings complement each other beautifully. For example, the murder was committed in an attractive, secluded mansion in Western Surrey. Also, there is a melodramatic villain, Dr Grimesby-Roylott, and a stereotypical, obvious plot. ...read more.

Middle

The two confront each other only once, with Holmes naturally coming out on top. This was when Grimesby-Roylott challenged Holmes in his Baker Street office. Holmes is undaunted by his enemy's aggressive attitude, and shows utter contempt to his threats. This is demonstrated when he ridicules the aggressive Grimesby-Roylott: "What has she been saying to you?" screamed the old man furiously. "But I have heard that the crocuses promise well," continued my companion imperturbably. Grimesby-Roylott then attempts to use his strength to scare the composed Holmes. He bends a poker then hurls it into the fire. Holmes, unconcerned, then picks the poker up and unbends it with ease: "I might have shown him that my grip was not much more feeble than his own." This reinforces the idea of Holmes' superiority over everyone else. This symbolism is a precursor to the end of the tale, and the reader knows that Holmes will eventually prevail over his enemy. In I'll be Waiting, there is no arch villain, hinting at the corruptness of the times. However, when Reseck meets with another character, Al, he is insulted, and in the end is seen to be inferior. Al calls Tony his "little fat brother", which is obviously derogatory. Reseck does not have the same superiority over others as Holmes, which shows how different the times and self-esteem of the characters are. As well as the heroes that are portrayed in the stories, the language and accents that are used also depict the eras. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that Tony sits in the chair that he sat in at the start of the story, indicates a theme of circularity, life goes on. This can be extended to the elk's tooth; he is holding it in his hand at the beginning and the end. This serene attitude towards his surroundings, family and general life reflects the era superbly. This sad end shows the times, where people were accustomed to failure, and a triumphant victory was never expected nor well received. In conclusion, both stories reflect the eras in which they were written. One is set in prosperous Victorian England, where the spirits of the people were high. This is reflected in the story, with triumphant characters, most notably Holmes. He is confidant bordering on arrogant. Many people of that time could relate to his feelings of distain at those inferior to him. The language he uses, as well as the setting in which he is depicted, show this superiority. On the contrary, Reseck works in a seedy location where the people he meets are depressed. He is an introvert loner, who works in a hotel in the downtown area of a large city. The 1930's people could relate to that, as they were in the same situation, yet could be inspired by his successful work. He reflects a downcast and disheartened society going through a very unhappy time. Doyle's tale has a dynamic story line, whereas Chandler's lacks energy. This is another subtle way in which Chandler reflects the monotonous era he depicts. In summary, both stories reflect the respective eras in which they were written, using both subtle and obvious methods. ...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. Coursework-The Speckled Band How does Conan Doyle present Dr. Grimesby Roylott as a typical ...

    They still have quite a big house remaining, though that is on a mortgage loan. Violence occurs in his family previously this could be hereditary, which is something passed down through a family. Roylott obtained an advance from a relative which meant he took a medical degree in India.

  2. The speckled band - summary

    The information about Roylots violent and murderous temper, shows just how deadly this man is, and enlightens the reader into the real danger Helen is in. She informs us the marriage between her mother and him, and about her mother's recent death.

  1. Select Two Short Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which you Believe are Particularly ...

    In other stories it is "winter of that year", and "early spring". I think Doyle uses the cold to show what urban life was like in London. Doyle always creates tension and suspense in his stories which is a highlight of the detective genre.

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

    the people that request Sherlock Holmes' services as a detective are both women and they both appear very distressed and unable to sort out the problem themselves so they rely on him, a man. In Victorian times there was a quite obvious male dominance over women and this is shown in the stories as well.

  1. Pre-1914 Literature Arthur Conan Doyle

    We have seen how Arthur Conan Doyle has used stereotypical thoughts in his work to satisfy the aristocracy. The Victorians feared that the culture and customs of non British people, they felt threatened by foreigners; Sherlock Holmes was a method of reassurance in which the Victorian culture and values were still respected.

  2. A comparison of The Speckled band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Lamb to ...

    at this point the readers start to beg the question if Mary Maloney is insanely obsessed with Mr. Maloney. Then later Mr. Maloney tells Mary Maloney to sit down and starts to talk to her for 5 minutes then finishes by saying "So there it is......".

  1. Analyse the ways in which Conan Doyle uses variety of plot, setting and mood ...

    This is a red herring because it doesn't mention the victim till Holmes talks to Watson about the real situation. It also varies from a classic Holmes story because no crime is committed, we are led to believe that Mr Neville St Clair has been murdered by the Lascar or by a man called Hugh Boone.

  2. Compare and Contrast: Edgar Allan Poe & Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle

    Conan on the other hand kept his work much more professional telling his stories in a much more deliberate way not as much humor as Poe, but less! Readers enjoy authors that can write a good story, but not just a good story, a story with good plots and interesting

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