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

    Throughout Doyle's stories involving Sherlock Holmes he gives us insights into the view of Victorian England at the time. In the Speckled Band we see that there are lots of manors littered around the countryside and we also see that because people are rich they believe that they are above the law.

  2. Sherlock Holmes English coursework

    "In her right hand was found the charred stump of a match, and in her left a match-box." This shows that when Julia woke up she struck a match to see what was going on. The value of money in the 1880's and the 1890's was much different than the value for money now.

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

    last eight years studied the methods of my friend Sherlock Holmes, I find many tragic, some comic, a large number merely strange, but none commonplace ..." The character of Sherlock Holmes Interestingly, Conan Doyle said the pictures of Holmes usually depict him as handsomer than he imagined him himself.

  2. Sherlock Holmes essay Compare the two short stories Man with the twisted lip and ...

    Also Mr St Clair's coat was found upon a mud bank stuffed with pennies which was an attempt to fake the death, "it seemed likely enough that the weighted coat had remained when the striped body had been sucked away into the river".

  1. 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.

  2. An essay to investigate the disturbing and reassuring aspects in the three stories

    Arthur Conan Doyle's descriptions of Stoke Moran are a great example of a dramatic structure used to augment the effectiveness of the disturbing aspects of the storyline when they emerge. This is because Doyle firstly communicates with us subliminally about the disturbing aspects of his tale via his setting descriptions,

  1. In the beginning of my second story, written by Charles Dickens, The Signalman, the ...

    Grouse are still shot today but more by entertaining rich executives as a business of diversity as opposed to the land owners entertaining guests... The Judges House will also be a good example of how time and place add to affect the mood of a good mystery story.

  2. Examine the characters and settings that the authors have used in each story.

    Arthur Conan Doyle also writes "Oh, my God! Helen! It was the band! The speckled band!" He uses speech and punctuation, and even more importantly he uses explanation marks, which add to the drama. By using explanation marks after nearly every word it makes everything seem so much more dramatic

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