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

"How does Conan Doyle create a sense of anticipation and suspense in the Adventure of the Speckled Band?"

Extracts from this document...


Pre-1914 Prose Assignment "How does Conan Doyle create a sense of anticipation and suspense in the Adventure of the Speckled Band?" The Adventure of the Speckled Band is a classic mystery novel. It is so in the way that it uses several writing techniques to create a sense of ambiguity and vagueness. Conan Doyle makes sure to leave the reader with as little information as possible and to make it hard to foresee what will happen next. This is all to have them anticipate the ending and the solving of the mystery, to keep them gripped. Even the very title of the novel is unclear and does well to conjure up ideas inside the readers mind. It is only until the whole story is took in and the ending is unveiled that the reader can fully appreciate and understand what exactly the 'Speckled Band' is. Conan Doyle starts by introducing the character of Sherlock Holmes by using Watson as a first person narrator to tell the story. Watson can be seen as a means of understanding Sherlock Holmes' thoughts. By using Watson as someone Sherlock can talk to, we can get a better perception of what goes on in his mind. He also uses Watson as a sort of ordinary person, who, like the reader, also attempts to solve the mystery alongside Sherlock Holmes. ...read more.


He throws these into the story to direct the readers' attention away from the central issue. After describing her stepfather, Helen then goes on to talk about her sister's death and the mystery surrounding it, which she wants Sherlock Holmes to solve. She explains about how she knew her stepfather had gone to bed early, but had not slept. Also, that she had heard a low whistle followed by a metallic clang and, after hearing the scream of her sister, approached her room where she saw the door swinging on it's hinges after she had heard her lock it. The reader is successfully drawn into the task of trying to solve the mystery and so Conan Doyle manages to keep their interest and attention. They will start to follow the Sherlock Holmes' method of deduction and try to piece together the clues. When Holmes declares that he plans to personally inspect the rooms at Stoke Moran, the reader will anticipate this chance to discover more clues. When Roylott makes his entrance to Baker Street, Conan uses this as a means to conclude on the suggestions about him. He is describes as being a huge man, who fills the doorway. This gives the impression that he is both powerful and dangerous. He was swinging around a hunting crop, which could be used as a weapon. ...read more.


Also, the reader is reminded one last time of the dangers when what appears to be "A hideous and distorted child" appears out of the dark of Roylott's garden, which then turns out to be only his pet baboon. This is a very powerful and shocking line and ultimately finishes off the structure of the scary atmosphere Conan tries to build. Holmes and Watson must then sit in total silence and darkness for hours. To emphasize the danger that they are in, Watson has his revolver placed on the table at the ready and Holmes has a cane in his hand. After what is a long time for the pair, the creepy mood is broken by rudiments of the clues that the reader has been struggling to piece together. There is a momentary gleam of light from the false ventilation shaft and a smell of burning oil wafts through. After a further 30 minutes, a hissing noise is then heard when Holmes jumps into action, swishing his cane at the bell-rope. Then, the whistle that both women had commented on and a blood-curdling scream are heard from Roylott's room. After going to investigate, Holmes and Watson find that the speckled band is actually a swamp adder, the deadliest snake in India. Finally, the mystery is revealed, and the last page is dedicated to explaining in further detail how exactly Sherlock Holmes pieced together all the clues. All these things successfully create a feeling of anticipation and suspense in the reader. Jack Whitehead Pre-1914 Prose Assignment ...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. Compare the Techniques used to create mystery and suspense by sir Arthur Conan Doyle ...

    The ravine is always described as a very dark and dangerous region, 'Behind them were the lighted houses and faint radio music; ahead was deepness, moistness, fireflies and dark' (page 1). It's through the darkness that the living room is turned into another environment for the Lonely One, 'Behind her, in the black living-room, someone cleared his throat'.

  2. How Does Conan Doyle Build Suspense In ‘the Speckled Band’?

    Suspense is created using the word 'dark' '...we were out on the dark roads...' '...Across the lawn into the darkness...' '...Sit without light...' '...Left in darkness...' This is the author's use of pathetic fallacy, he describing the weather and the atmosphere to match the mood of the scenes.

  1. Sherlock Holmes Assignment:

    (Do you know how many stairs there are in your house? Have you observed?) Holmes on the other hand, knows for a fact that there are seventeen steps. Holmes knows this because he has both seen and observed. It is quite rare for most people to see and observe such a thing instinctively.

  2. The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead, deals with the exploration of Lila Mae Watson, a ...

    In the other hand Fulton's lies and secrets are what form the entire story. After having developed intuitionism for that long, he realized he needs a successor, who will deal with society.

  1. Both the Adventure of the Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter share some ...

    Women were beginning to have a bigger say in society and the reader was shown the story from a different perspective however still demonstrating a woman without very much independence from her husband and with a traditional housewife role of looking after the home which was common in the 1950's.

  2. Analyse Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles" exploring how the author uses the ...

    We actually find out in the later part of the text that this was actually a false lead as Mrs. Laura Lyons did not have a hand in the death of Sir Charles. The blame keeps on changing in "THOTB" from one person to another, which causes the reader to

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

    The ravine is a place where you don't want to be when you're on your own as the Town's think this is where the Lonely One hangs around. Lavinia Nebb's house is the opposite of the ravine even though it's a stereotype.

  2. 'The Speckled Band' and 'The Engineer's Thumb.' How does the writer create mystery and ...

    The desired effect, which in the case of these short stories is mystery and suspense, depend largely upon the setting and atmosphere. The major events that take place in 'The Speckled Band' occur at the home of Dr Roylott in Stoke Moran.

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