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My intention for this essay is to explore the relevance of these Statements by analysing two examples of crime fiction , The Speckled Band and The Test.

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Introduction

Year 11 GCSE Wider Reading Coursework " The emotional basis of a standard detective story is that murder will out and justice will be done." (Raymond Chandler celebrated author and pioneer of American detective fiction. 1888-1959) The hero of the detective story be " motivated less by the desire to solve the mystery of a murder than the compelling necessity to right social wrongs." ( Phillip Durham, University of California) Consider the extent to which each story conforms to and departs from the conventions of crime fiction highlighted in the statements above. Which of the stories do you consider to be most effective " The emotional basis for a standard detective story is that murder will out and justice will be done." ( Raymond Chandler, celebrated author and pioneer of American detective fiction. 1888-1959.). "The hero of the detective story should be motivated less by the desire to solve the mystery of a murder than the compelling necessity to right social wrongs." ( Phillip Durham, University of California.) My intention for this essay is to explore the relevance of these Statements by analysing two examples of crime fiction , The Speckled Band and The Test. The Speckled Band is one of the most famous Sherlock Holmes stories and is written by Arthur Conan Doyle. The Test is a much more modern story and is written by Henry Sleaser. ...read more.

Middle

The Speckled Band is narrated by Watson who adores Holmes so the whole story is completely biased and not a single bad word is said about Holmes. Holmes works outside the legal system doing things such as waiting in peoples houses to catch the culprits where as that is a job of the police. If a 19th century reader was reading the story of The Speckled Band they would have thoroughly and seen Holmes as a hero, but if it was a person of the 21st century it would seem that the Victorian idea of a hero is inhuman and the whole story would seem unrealistic. In The Test Wedge is a prosecution attorney and is the opposite of Holmes and is motivated by less honourable things such as money and a good reputation. Wedge unlike Holmes makes mistakes and knows his limitations, whereas Holmes gets everything correct and doesn't know his limitations as he takes mysteries too far. He is inadequate and wants to uphold justice so therefore Wedge is an anti-hero. Wedge is also the opposite to Holmes in the way that he is realistic and that we can relate to him. Wedge is also a lot less like the conventional image of a detective hero for example he wouldn't always just defend the innocent he would defend the guilty as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Speckled Band is narrated by Watson. The significance of this is that not a single bad word would have been said about Holmes making him the hero. There is an extreme lack of pace to the story and everything seems to plod along at constant pace which never changes. There is also a assortment of descriptive of descriptive detail. The characters speak very formally to one another even Watson and Holmes do it and they have lived together for several years, here is an example of this "Very sorry to knock you up, Watson,".... " But it's the common lot this morning. Mrs Hudson has been knocked up, she retorted on me, and I on you. The Test is a lot more fast moving than The Speckled Band and there are quick shifts in scene. There is also very little descriptive detail which therefore allows the story to flow at a quicker pace than The Speckled Band. The dialogue in the story is also very punchy as it is informal American slang. I consider The Test to be more effective story but this is most likely because I am used to stories like it and not stories like The Speckled Band. The ways in which my opinion of the stories is influenced by the time in which I live are that I am not used to reading stories with a structure like The Speckled Band so therefore they do not appeal to me as a modern reader. ...read more.

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