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The Hound of the Baskervilles Essay

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Introduction

'The Hound of the Baskervilles' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle In what sense is 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' a gothic novel? 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was a Sherlock Holmes story. The novel was the only book in the Sherlock Holmes series to combine both gothic and detective genres. Most of Doyle's other novels were either detective or adventure stories. Sherlock Holmes stories were very popular during the Victorian period so too were gothic stories. Combining the two categories made the book very popular. Gothic stories involve mysterious happenings and creatures thought of as evil. Devils, bats and beasts are used in gothic literature. They include things such as the supernatural (this could be some sort of ghost or unnatural being), the ill treatment of women (such as rape, this creates a sense of evil), deception, mystery and secrecy. There are many gothic features in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', such as the legendary hound, which is thought to be hunting down the Baskervilles. ...read more.

Middle

This element of doubt adds to the suspense in the novel. The Victorians were very interested in the supernatural; it was a main feature in the gothic genre. They enjoyed reading shocking and disturbing tales. As far as the Victorians were concerned an interesting book must contain gothic content. In 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' the setting and atmosphere are key elements in making the novel gothic. The moor is the main gothic feature; it is bleak and scary. People on the moor hear the hound's cry and it sends a shiver down their spine. The moor is also very dangerous. In the novel a pony drowns in the marsh at Grimpen Mire. The book describes this event, 'something brown was rolling and tossing among the green sedges. Then a long, agonized, writhing neck shot upwards and a dreadful cry echoed over the moor.' This shows how dangerous the moor is and that Grimpen Mire in particular is a treacherous part of the moor. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stapleton also befriended Laura Lyons. Laura was a victim of Stapleton. He deceived her by offering to marry her for his own gain. Laura was not aware that he was already married. In 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' the Barrymores are very secretive. Since Henry Baskerville was the head of Baskerville Hall the Barrymores had not been very open with him. Mrs Barrymore was trying to hide the fact that the convict Selden was her younger brother. When it is revealed that Mrs Barrymore is a relation to Selden you start to think less of her and she is more mysterious than first seemed. As a conclusion 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' is definitely a gothic novel. There is a battle between good and evil, which makes the book very interesting and mysterious. I can see why the gothic genre was very popular and why it was so vital to contain mystery, deception, curiosity and secrecy. 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' has many twists and keeps the reader intrigued throughout the novel. ...read more.

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