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

Is the opening to 'The Empty House' successful in engaging the reader in the story.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Hannah Devlin Mrs Clegg English Coursework An author can engage the reader in their stories by describing different aspects of the text in an interesting way. The narrator of a story is one way that can interest a reader by the knowledge and background they have or by the way they tell a story. The larger than life characters used in the text can be good ways to grab the reader's attention by being thoroughly believable, allowing the reader to become attached to them or even, in the case of Sherlock Holmes, compete with them. Holmes, Watson and the characters within the stories are examples of these entertaining and realistic individuals. The settings and social context are important features for the appeal of a story to a reader. The vocabulary used is an important way in which the author can engage the reader, as the words need to be interesting and vivid for the person reading to be intrigued. Dull words that bore and do not create an interest for the reader are not useful in engaging the attention of the reader. The six short stories that I shall study during this essay are 'The Empty House', 'The Final Problem', 'The Speckled Band', 'The Man With The Twisted Lip', 'Shoscombe Old Place' and 'The Red Headed League'. I shall analyse the opening paragraphs to discover the methods that Conan Doyle uses to engage the reader's attention. ...read more.

Middle

Not only does Holmes want to do well in his job but he works "for the love of his art" rather than for money. This characteristic of Holmes would create an idea of eagerness and passion for his work which would engage the reader as many others at that time, and now, do not possess that enthusiasm for work themselves. The settings used are effective in engaging the reader in the stories. In 'The Man With The Twisted Lip', the social context of the opening is drug abuse. In the period in which the story was written, drugs were very much an upper class hobby, whereas nowadays, it is frowned upon. This context would engage readers at the present time as they would be intrigued by the past drug portrayal. The way that Holmes associates with opposite classes like those in drug dens and those in high society with "honourable" people and the rich shows that he is accepted by all communities and this would intrigue the reader. The juxtaposition of the rich and the squalid parts of London is successful and brings a variety into the stories. Not only does Conan Doyle manage to set stories throughout London effectively, but he also sets Sherlock Holmes internationally. In 'The Final Problem', Holmes' experiences in France appear, giving the reader the impression that it is an unusual and interesting case as many people at the time would never have been to France and would want to know what it was like. ...read more.

Conclusion

The two extreme words are very different and to be used together would entice the reader. In this story Watson tells a "secret" to the reader. To hear of something secretive would encourage the reader to continue as a secret is not meant to be known and is usually a private and restricted thing, otherwise it would not have been kept secret. Watson tells that Holmes' cases were "none commonplace" therefore meaning that none of the stories would be boring. If the Sherlock Holmes stories were expected to be tiresome, then the reader would not carry on reading. In 'The Empty House' a crime is described as "inexplicable" yet Holmes managed to solve it, despite not being around. This suggests the knowledge of Holmes is far more superior than the police's, encouraging those reading to want to know more about such an incredible man. To conclude, I think that the opening to 'The Empty House' is the most successful in engaging the reader in the story. Watson regards his experiences highly as he says that he has had an "interesting and adventurous life" yet this crime managed to shock him and gave him a "sudden flood of joy, amazement and incredulity". The "close intimacy" shared between Holmes and Watson leads those reading to feel involved in such a relationship too and be taken in by the story. The detail that ten years had passed before Watson could reveal the story suggests that the story is going to be of interest otherwise there would have been no reason to ait so long. ...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. Sherlock Holmes English coursework

    rat-faced fellow standing in the centre of the circle of yellow light which was thrown by the swinging lamp." He also says, "He sprang round, and I could see in the gas-light that every vestige of colour had been driven from his face."

  2. Analyse the ways in which Conan Doyle uses variety of plot, setting and mood ...

    how the suspense was portrayed to keep the readers fixated on his Sherlock Holmes stories. The setting and mood in each story plays a huge part in the success of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.

  1. Analyse the way in which Conan Doyle's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is designed to ...

    Holmes wears dressing gowns inside and a cape with a deerstalker hat outside, and he usually appears with a pipe or a magnifying glass in his hand. Entirely unemotional, Holmes remains aloof, coolly rational, and arrogant. He is often irritable and he possesses several idiosyncrasies that try the patience of even his long-suffering best friend, Watson.

  2. Sherlock Holmes stories. How has Conan Doyle made the stories engaging for the reader?

    An example of that was colonialism; in the story Dr Roylett killed his native butler who was Indian. However Dr Roylett was English and people like him were seen as powerful. So when he killed his butler he could easily get away with the capital punishment.

  1. What is is about the character of Sherlock Holmes that a Victorian Readership found ...

    He solved every crime, provided justice and restored order. He was what the police force couldn't be but what they should be, and so he became a character Victorians cherished. The reassuring, formulaic routine and unique character Conan Doyle created established the convention of the crime fiction genre, as his stories were so popular.

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    "He wore rather baggy grey shepherds check trousers, a not clean-black frock coat, unbuttoned in the front, and a drab waistcoat with heavy brassy Albert chain, and a square pierced bit of metal dangling down as an ornament. A frayed top-hat and a faded brown overcoat with a wrinkled velvet collar lay upon a chair beside him."

  1. The detective performs a key role in the story and provides hope to the ...

    Holmes treats his clients and associates kindly and fairly. Within reason, he is a gentleman, sophisticated and meticulous and a rational crime solver. His determined and tenacious methods often prove to be obsessive and methodical, His understanding and gracious, although keeping his quirky habits, remains relaxed and calm.

  2. "The Man with the Twisted Lip," "The Final Problem," and "The Empty House" all ...

    Holmes also has a dark-side to himself, which is displayed when he states: "Had I been recognised in that den my life would not of been worth an hour's purchase, for I have used it before now for my own purposes."

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