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How Does Arthur Conan Doyle Create Tension

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Introduction

How Does Arthur Conan Doyle Create Tension And Suspense In 'The Speckled Band' The Speckled Band is just one of the murder mystery stories featuring the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes was not any ordinary detective, he was a detective who was famous for solving murders. In this case Holmes is trying to solve the mystery of the 'Speckled Band'. Some examples of tension building techniques are dramatic events and in some instances the inclusion of red herrings. Bad weather and night time are also used as a means of building up atmosphere and tension. The main setting is Dr Roylot's house in the middle of a wild, stormy night. This immediately creates a sense of uneasiness in the readers mind. In his description of the storm, Conan Doyle uses sounds to very good effect. He talks about the howling wind and the rain beating on the windows. ...read more.

Middle

Conan Doyle uses alliteration to create and build up the tension, a good example is seen when Helen says- "The dense darkness which surrounds me" This highlights her sense of confusion and foreboding. The use of the word `dense' shows how strongly she feels this. Doyle again uses alliteration to create a similar effect when Helen says- "A vague feeling of impending misfortune impressed me." The word `impending' particularly builds up her sense of fear and disquiet. We sense a state of unease. Conan Doyle also uses similes to heighten the tension. One example, which also includes alliteration, is seen on page 180. Helen says- "A clanging sound, as if a mass of metal had fallen." This almost gives the reader a fright. We feel we can hear the crashing sound close by. The following simile- "Swaying to and fro like that of a drunkard. ...read more.

Conclusion

This helps to build up mystery throughout the story. Roylott was another important character in this story. Conan-Doyle describes him by saying 'so tall his hat actually brushed the cross bar of the doorway...deep-set, bile-shot eyes, and his high thin, fleshless nose, gave him somewhat the resemblance of a fierce old bird of prey.' This first description of him gives us an impression that he is tall and somewhat eagle like. He is essential to help create suspense. Roylott is Helen and Julia Stoner's stepfather. He was a doctor and also had knowledge of exotic animals and owned a few too. '... The doctor kept a cheetah and a baboon. We had no feeling of security until our doors were locked.' This shows he has a keen interest for animals. Roylott is violent and aggressive. Sherlock Holmes was also an important character in order to build up suspense. He was a detective and helped Helen Stoner to investigate the cause of her sister, Julia's death. He helped to create suspense. Jonathan Miller ...read more.

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