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Is 'The Speckled Band' as exciting as other Sherlock Holmes stories you have read?

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Lizzie Tulloch 5th October 2004 Is 'The Speckled Band' as exciting as other Sherlock Holmes stories you have read? Detective stories first became popular in the Victorian era following the emergence of organized police forces in the 1830's. Fascination with the criminal heros accompanied a corresponding interest in the methodical uncovering of crime. Public hangings were frequent and Victorian people feared crime greatly. This meant that when the detective stories came about they felt the fictional character that cracked every case became the perfect detective i.e. Arthur Conan Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was actually an amateur detective not a member of the London plaice force and the Victorians had a deep resentment against the police, as they were unable to solve the infamous Jack the Ripper crimes. This is why the detective stories and in particular Sherlock Holmes became so popular. Arthur Conan Doyle's stories still remain popular now because the stories are well written, fast paced, and the plot encourages you to try and solve the stories yourself but the stories are always solved in the end, which the reader tends to find satisfying. ...read more.


The character Colonel Lysander stark is presented as mysterious, dangerous but the obvious suspect, although he is the stereotypical arch villain by his looks and his aggressive manner. Sherlock Holmes is shown often the central character and is shown as the best detective in the field with every skill that is needed as a detective. He has a good instinct that enables him to draw the correct conclusion from small observations. For example, in the 'Red Headed League', by looking at john clays 'worn wrinkled and stained' knees he is able to realize the John Clay has been digging a passage to the bank. On the other hand, he is shown as a lonely man with no family life. This persuades the reader to like him because some might feel jealous for his investigating skills, so they pity his lonely life. Holmes again demonstrates a good instinct, which enables him to retrieve the facts before actually knowing them. This is shown when he gathers the facts that Mr Hatherly hasn't traveled as far as he thinks when he comments that "One horse? Fresh or glossy?" By the answer that Mr Hatherly gives him he able to notice that as the horse was not tired and was still clean then he had not traveled the 12 miles that the villain had told him he had. ...read more.


Other Sherlock Holmes stories I have read also are well written and fast paced but are longer and the stories have more detail. This could leave the reader feeling that the story is unsolvable and so the reader would not want to continue with the story. However, 'The Speckled Band' is the right length to be a good story and enchanting descriptions within it makes it exciting overall. Feminist criticism interprets women's experience as depicted in various kinds of literature- especially novels. It attacks the male notions of value in literature- by offering critiques of male authors and representations of men in literature and also by privileging women writers. Reading Arthur Conan Doyle's stories (especially Sherlock Holmes) there is a sense of long-standing, dominant and phallocentric ideologies that contribute towards the patriarchal attitudes and male interpretations in literature. The detectives in Conan Doyle's stories are always male and Conan Doyle only seems to cast women in stock character roles i.e. the victims are always female and powerless. Conan Doyle writes in a typical masculine style. He interprets females in the stereotypical type of how women are 'supposed' to feel, act and think. This I feel is why many female readers may not be able to relate to any characters in the Sherlock Holmes stories because the stock character roles that Conan Doyle produces. ...read more.

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