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In What Ways can “The Speckled Band” be seen as a classic Murder Mystery story?

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Candidate Name: James A.S. Hollister Candidate Number: 0229 Centre Number: 61743 ENGLISH "In What Ways can "The Speckled Band" be seen as a classic Murder Mystery story?" In this essay I will be analysing "The Speckled Band" by sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Arthur Conan Doyle, born in 1859 and died in 1930, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland where he studied medicine and received an M.D. It was when he was out of work due to lack of patients in Southsea, England that he started writing books, the first of which was "Study in Scarlet" which first introduced Sherlock Holmes to the British Public. People loved the style and preciseness with which Conan Doyle wrote. Signature to Conan Doyle's style of writing is his use of the first person narrative. He secures this through Dr. Watson, his close associate. Conan Doyle's medical knowledge also helped him create a whole new era of writing. Conan Doyle was the writer to produce a murder Mystery story and he set many prospering writers to write in a similar way. This makes Conan Doyle a classic writer anyway and people loved Sherlock Holmes so much that when Conan Doyle devised his hero's death in 1893 they demanded Holmes' return. I will determine whether, and how far, "The Speckled Band" can be seen as a "classic" murder mystery story. Before that, however, I need to explain what exactly makes up a "classic" murder mystery story. ...read more.


In simpler terms he received a thousand pounds a year to maintain the estate and look after the sisters until they get married, when they have rites to a percentage of that sum. When this happens Dr. Roylott was to lose a great deal of money and hence this gives him the perfect motive to kill the girls at the event of their marriage. Although there can only be one true villain in a classic murder mystery, there are deviations thrown in by Doyle to put the audience off and to make them think. In the Speckled Band the gipsies are part of that deviation. "It must be those wretched gypsies in the plantation." To enhance the readers' confusion, Conan Doyle puts in possible evidence that it was the gipsies. At the time of Julia's death she proclaimed, "Oh my God Helen! It was the Band! The Speckled Band!" The band of gipsies that lived in the plantation about the house wore spotted handkerchiefs over their heads and Helen supposed that this was the reason for Julia's proclamation. In the mind of the reader all the possibilities will be going through their heads. The animals kept by the sisters' stepfather will also play a part in that suspicion. While all this is going through the heads of the readers, and the impression is given that this is happening with the characters in the book as well, there is one person who has no alternating thought anywhere in his mind... ...read more.


Roylott. Arthur Conan Doyle uses vast imagery and description to keep the reader glued. It is with this imagery that he creates the tension and creates a sense of tragedy in the mind of the reader. The word black is repeated several times, and this gives a feeling of doom and imbalance. This, paired with nocturnal, silence, darkness and all the other words of sinister imagery creates more tension for the reader. It all builds up and gives the reader an incentive to carry on, to find out what will occur in the next sequence. All the way through there is a mysterious atmosphere and this only pushes the story further into the classic murder mystery genre. Everything down to he scenery and especially the buildings create a tense atmosphere. Conan Doyle wants to put a picture into the mind of the reader, such that they can almost see exactly they are reading about. "Grey, lichen-blotched stone...windows broken...picture of ruin." All these are distinct factors of a house that can be picture in an infinite number of different ways for each individual reader. As this essay concludes the Speckled Band by sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a classic murder mystery story. All the criteria in the second paragraph have been fulfilled. There can be no argument that Sherlock Holmes is the greatest fictional detective in the whole of English literature and Arthur Conan Doyle is, without doubt, the most memorable writer of classic Murder Mystery stories up to the present day. ...read more.

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