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In the speckled band, how does Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle produce a feeling of tension throughout the story so that the reader's interest is maintained? Explain whether you find the ending of the story convincing or not explain your reasons.

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Introduction

Essay 4 In the speckled band, how does Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle produce a feeling of tension throughout the story so that the reader's interest is maintained? Explain whether you find the ending of the story convincing or not explain your reasons It is wise to remember when embarking on this story, that it was written over one hundred years ago. Therefore although it is a classic it is clearly a very straightforward murder, mystery with little of the complex twists and turns of our modern day novels. However, this story will have been used as a benchmark for practically all our present day detective stories. The author Conan-Doyle writes as the first person, yet he shrewdly chooses the character of Watson and not the famous Sherlock Holmes, thus enabling him to show the discussion between the two men. This allows the reader to follow Sherlock Holmes' train of thought, perceived through the eyes of his companion, Watson. Many detective novels are written in this way, using a sidekick to allow open discussion between the two characters. This enables the detective to narrate his thoughts to his deputy, and consequently to the reader. Conan-Doyle starts to build the tension in the story from the outset. ...read more.

Middle

Helen! It was the band! The speckled band !" This immediately prompts the reader to ask the question, "What is the speckled band? " Conan-Doyle then goes on to introduce Doctor Roylott, Helen Stoners stepfather. He describes him in one long sentence. "A large face, seared with a thousand wrinkles, burned yellow with the sun, and marked with every evil passion, was turned from one to the other of us, while his deep-set, bile shot eyes, and the high thin fleshless nose, gave him somewhat the resemblance to a fierce old bird of prey." This is a wonderful description, almost a photographic image for the reader, a description leaving a sense of, is this a man or a monster? This again adds to the already building tension for the reader, who continues to make his or her own deductions. We see almost immediately how brilliantly perceptive Sherlock Holmes is when he spots the mud on the Ms Stoners coat and the train ticket in her hand. From this he deduces that she must have set off early, travelling in a Dogcart for some time before she got to the station. He picks up on "clues" throughout the story, things that the everyday person would possibly miss. ...read more.

Conclusion

What could be happening? The story ends with the conclusion, albeit a little abruptly, maybe even a little unbelievable and somewhat corny for the modern day reader. We discover that it is a snake owned by Doctor Roylott that has been trained by its master to crawl in to the adjacent bedroom and ultimately kills the sleeping victim. Unfortunately for Doctor Roylott, Holmes foiled his plan by scaring the creature, which in due course turned and killed its own master. This allows the reader to let out a great sigh of relief. The crime has been solved the tension has passed. The story albeit a little obvious and very basic, is also very cleverly written. The author succeeds in initially drawing the reader in and keeping their attention throughout. The story would have been extremely exciting and ground breaking in its day. Exotic animal were unheard of. The account is written in very descriptive but extremely long sentences, which is another clue to its age. Time has taken it toll and we as modern readers have been spoiled by the cleverness of the modern day detective novels. Therefore the ending is a little disappointing, no twists or red herrings except for the gypsies . But the story must be applauded, Conan-Doyle was one of the earliest authors of his kind to begin this clever technique of keeping his reader guessing throughout the book. ...read more.

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