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How Does Conan Doyle Create Suspense And Tension In The Sherlock Holmes Stories

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How Does Conan Doyle Create Suspense And Tension In The Sherlock Holmes Stories? Conan Doyle writes crime fiction, and crime fiction should always have a build in tension and suspense. It's what makes it a good story. It can be said that Conan Doyle put a lot of suspense into his stories, but then it can also be said that he didn't. All Holmes's stories are narrated by Watson. Watson not being in the same league in brightness as Holmes is not able to see what Holmes can. This shows in the Red-Headed League. 'What did you see?' said I 'What I expected to see.' said Holmes 'Why did you beat the pavement?' 'My dear doctor, this is a time for observation...the parts which lie behind us.' All through the story of the Red-Headed League Watson cannot grasp the concept of what Holmes is thinking. ...read more.


This created suspense, as we want to know what there is to see in the man, then we are told, and our suspicions may be confirmed. The suspense created by using Watson to dictate the stories is also apparent in Silver Blaze. As Watson is not in the same place as Holmes at times, then it is highly likely that he will not know what is going on when Holmes is off the scene. Like when Holmes goes to Mr. Silas Brown, Watson is left outside whilst Holmes is talking inside. 'It was quite twenty minutes, and the reds had all faded into greys before Holmes and the trainer reappeared. Never have I seen such a change as had been brought about in Silas Brown in that short time. ...read more.


'Go! Where to?' 'To Dartmoor - to King's Pyland' This start in Silver Blaze immediately makes you want to know what Holmes is going to Dartmoor for. It pulls you into the story, giving it suspense of what is going to happen. In the Red-Headed League clues are given along the way of what the solution may be. 'You enquired your way merely in order that you might see him.' 'Not him' 'What then?' 'The knees of his trousers.' To more intelligent people, this may seem obvious because they are working the solution out as the story progresses. But to many, it is a just a meaningless clue. The climax is wanted which makes tension in the person reading it. I think that the Sherlock Holmes stories are a good read which gives suspense and tension along the way. I like crime fiction and these stories for fill the requirements that I lay down when I like to read them. ...read more.

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  1. How does Conan Doyle create suspense and tension in the Sherlock Holmes stories?

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  2. Compare and contrast the ways in which tension and suspense are created in,

    Wells does so simply by just mentioning that they were in a "laboratory." This would have created tension as in literature, laboratories are often places where very dangerous chemicals are kept or where dark or even mad scientists carry out mysterious and potentially dangerous experiments.


    At times in the stories when the tension is escalating into a climax Arthur Conan Doyle speeds up the writing by using lots of and verbs in sequence, for example in 'The Adventure Of The Speckled Band' where it says that 'Holmes sprang from the bed, struck a match and lashed furiously with his cane at the bell-pull'.

  2. What strategies did nineteenth century writers use to build dramatic tension?

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