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The Hound of the Baskervilles Horror or whodunnit?

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Introduction

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Horror or whodunit? This essay will analyse The Hound of the Baskervilles to see if it is a horror or whodunit. The novel was first published in nineteen hundred and two and went on to become a big hit with the Victorian public. It is a story set in a bygone time when superstition was rife and people believed deeply in the power of curse. Inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle to write this book came out of the blue and from an unexpected source. It was after Fletcher Robinson, a friend of Doyle's told him about the curse of the hound from hell that they began to research for the book. Doyle and Robinson visited the bleakest locations where the eeriest of feelings would unravel. The powerful text used in describing the setting gave the more credible surroundings for the supernatural happenings to occur, using four main places which all portray a feeling of unnerve; The grimpen mire with its "rising howls". "A step yonder means death to man or beast". ...read more.

Middle

Because of Doyle's fascination with the supernatural I think he wanted this book to be classified as a horror story and in many ways he succeeds, with its detailed graphic imagery of "The beast" And its "Blazing eyes and dripping jaws" Instantly introducing a chill factor. Doyle also uses animal imagery which is normally done to make someone sound more scary than they are like when he describes Stapleton as a, "big lean jawed pike" and a "Wiry bulldog" it automatically transforms him into a more frightening being. Horror was intended to be injected into the story by Doyle as he used nouns in a way to suggest the "Great black beast" to be daunting and the alliteration increases to the terror. The verbs used to describe actions introduced a certain amount of fear to me, like the way the thing "Tore the throat out of Hugo Baskerville". Doyle wrote of scenes that any horror fanatic would appreciate but I think it would be unfair to categorize this novel as a horror story because although Doyle's script is packed with scenes ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the way the suspects are introduced is very important as it meant to me that I got to know the characters individually, and it made it easier to identify with each of their characteristics and draw my own conclusions. To begin, Barrymore was my favourite character as his personal traits portrayed him as the first suspect when his "Black beard" matched a witnesses description, but then his explanation eliminated him. This added to the intrigue once again, and the curiosity continued to grow as each of the accused was ruled out and another came to light. The suspense slowly builds up and by the end is in abundance, so much so that I admittedly read chapter 15 before chapter 13 which was a huge mistake because to the novels credit, the plot didn't actually develop as I had predicted. The conspiracy theories kept flowing all the way through the novel led by Watson's many thought provoking questions, which in turn kept the suspense alive and the mystery present in the way that any first-rate detective novel should and consequently guiding me to my conclusion that The Hound of the Baskervilles is in no doubt to me a whodunit. ...read more.

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