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Select Two Short Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which you Believe are Particularly Effective Examples of the Detective Fiction Genre

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Select Two Short Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which you Believe are Particularly Effective Examples of the Detective Fiction Genre Sir Arthur Conan Doyle uses many literary devices to convey an impression of suspense and mystery. To do this, he uses a proven formula in all his stories which the readers find effective. He was successful because his stories dealt with the relevant problems of that time such as; inept policing, Jack the Ripper, opium dens, and so Sherlock Holmes was the antidote and exactly what everyone needed, he was an extremely well-developed character. It was early days of the genre and so people didn't know what to expect, it was a totally new read and many enjoyed it. Doyle's stories dealt with known and familiar locations and issues such as the role of science being true and not superstition or religion. It was very successful in the late 19th century and early 20th, but some people today say that it has slow moving and two-dimensional plots. This may be due to the obsession of technology today or the relationship between violence and the genre today. The two stories I will be exploring in depth are, 'The Cardboard Box', and 'The Speckled Band' and there will be references to other stories as well. I will be comparing the features in the stories and exploring the style of Doyle and the detective genre and why it was so successful. To ensure that the mystery itself is properly described, no detail is left out and this creates vivid images. ...read more.


He also realizes that he isn't omnipotent when he meets his match in The Final Problem as there is someone as intelligent as him and they both end up dying. Doyle has kept accurate characterization in all his stories, even with Watson. Watson is shown as a sidekick and a loyal friend to Holmes. In the Cardboard Box, Holmes says, "You have followed me wonderfully". In other stories such as The Final Problem, Watson tries to think like Holmes and is actually trying to be him. In the Twisted Lip, Holmes says to Watson, "You have a gift of silence it makes you quite invaluable as a companion" which is quite ironic because it makes you think that if he says nothing and comes to wrong conclusions, how does he help Holmes? Doyle may have included Watson to praise Holmes even more and depict him as a perfect human. Watson only serves as a vehicle of admiration for Holmes. "You have followed me wonderfully!" is the only time Watson gets to say something like that in the Cardboard Box but it doesn't even have anything to do with the case which shows that Watson never gets any glory. In some stories Watson also comes to wrong conclusions and I think Doyle has done this to lead readers to red herrings and it also allows them to solve the case for themselves before Holmes reveals everything. In the Speckled Band Watson merely follows Holmes as Holmes solves everything and Watson's theory is wrong. ...read more.


Some aspects of the early fiction has remained in the detective fiction today and some of it has been left behind. A few things make it seem dated. Doyle has slow-moving plot with a formula he always uses, this makes it predictable and two-dimensional. The hagiography of Holmes is unbelievable. Technology has moved on and most prefer fast paced action and most of the stories today involve 'high-tech gadgets' to solve crimes. The relationship of the genre to violence today is dated. The things that have been left behind are the slow-pace two-dimensional plots. There isn't a formulaic approach today as the action and scene of crime is shown straight away in books or in movies. Prudish Victorian values are no longer used as the stories tackle today's ideas and peoples way of thinking. There isn't total admiration for the detective today, they make mistakes but still usually come out on top. In Doyle's stories, we didn't know what Holmes saw through his eyes, it was a veiled approach, today everything is shown to make it more vivid. Things have also remained in detective fiction today to keep the genre active and popular. The plot is easily accessed by the reader as they are taken into it and can relate to present issues. The detective has an archenemy or nemesis. There is also tension between the main characters such as good and bad. Some stories even involve a sidekick like Watson. Therefore detective fiction was popular in the 19th century and still is today because people can relate to it and it has the essence of tension and suspense throughout. ...read more.

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