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Look carefully at 'The Speckled Band' and 'The Five Orange Pips.' How does the writer create mystery and suspense in these stories?

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Look carefully at 'The Speckled Bank' and 'The Five Orange Pips.' How does the writer create mystery and suspense in these stories? Explain how he uses language to create character and atmosphere. What does this tell about the conventions of the Victorian short story? Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Speckled Band' is about a young girl named Helen Stoner who is in fear of her life and seeks the advice if Sherlock Holmes. Her sister died two years ago and she has been hearing the same things as she heard before she died. Sherlock Holmes investigates the mystery and finds it is her stepfather that killed her sister with a snake. 'The Five Orange Pips' is about a young man called John Openshaw. His uncle Elias and his father have been killed. Just before the killings they both received a letter with five dried orange pips and the letters 'KKK'. John has got the same letter. Sherlock Holmes finds that the 'Ku Klux Klan' killed John his uncle and father. The killers were sailing to America and drowned at sea. 'The Speckled Band' and 'The Five Orange Pips' are both short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. The stories tell of a mystical tail and of how the mysteries are solved by Sherlock Holmes with the help of his close friend Dr Watson. Both the 'The Speckled Band' and 'The Five Orange Pips' are set in the south of England, 'The Five Orange Pips' is on "a small estate in Sussex, near Horsham", but Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson never go to the estate. ...read more.


He bosses Watson around, tell him what to do and does not tell him what his theories are, for example when they are in the bedroom in 'The Speckled Band' Watson is not told what to look for just to sit with his gun out. The good that Holmes does is that he helps people like Helen and John even though he dies. He is a gentleman and protects Helen and saves her life. He is upset and guilty about the death of John and makes sure that he triumphs even when John is dead. He seems more like a real person unlike the other characters, as he has good and bad points. As Watson is telling both the stories we do not really get a good idea of his character, he is in the shadow of Holmes. Conan Doyle describes the characters physically by making the bad characters threatening and the good characters sound threatened. In 'The Speckled Band' Watson makes Dr Roylott sound threatening when he comes to see Holmes by saying he has a "hunting-crop." Watson says that Dr Roylott was "burned yellow by the sun." He would be different in the time that the stories were written because he would have a tan and people tried to be as white as possible. He also said, "marked with every evil passion." By using the word "evil" it adds to the threatening atmosphere. He also said that he had a "high thin fleshless nose." This is a very cold image we get of Dr Roylott and does not sound pleasant. ...read more.


When good wins over evil in both stories the perpetrators are brought to justice. In 'The Speckled Band' Dr Roylott is killed and in 'The Five Orange Pips' the group of men from the KKK are killed at sea. The modern day perspective to Dr Roylott may be different. He may have had a mental problem or may have been tormented as a child, and these reasons may have made him do what he did. Arthur Conan Doyle would possibly not have any sympathy for Dr Roylott because as a child his father, who drank heavily, beat Conan Doyle and this may be who the evil characters may have been based on. The modern day perspective on 'The Five Orange Pips' killers would not have changed as we are still anti KKK. The main characteristics of the Victorian short story are that they are 'Black and White.' The good characters win and the bad characters lose. They are not realistic or true to life as twentieth century (and twenty first century) stories. Each story required a hero, Sherlock Holmes in this case. The literary device of the anti-hero came later and stories became more realistic as the hero sometime lost against evil. Each of the stories are simple to understand, the reader knows who wants to win from the start. The stories are set in familiar surroundings, aimed at the middle-class literate audience. Elements introduced from abroad give the sense of mystery and suspense. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tim Fitter 11m ...read more.

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