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The Significance of Chapter twelve (to the novel as a whole) in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'

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Introduction

The Significance of Chapter twelve (to the novel as a whole) in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, 'The Hound of the Baskerville,' falls within the genre of detective fiction. It concentrates on the murder of Sir Charles and specifically in Chapter twelve mysteries are solved leading to the explanation of Sir Charles's death. At the beginning of the novel there is a suspicious story about a supernatural hound. With the request from Dr. Mortimer it is Holmes' and Dr. Watson's job to investigate the recent mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville. This is the main focus of the novel. As Holmes is the central character, we find that he is almost entirely absent from the central section of the novel where most of the significant action takes place. During this time Watson is at our attention but Holmes inevitably emerges back into the novel with a sense of energy and excitement. As this is the beginning of Chapter twelve a major significance is shown; alongside his return, the mystery is solved. When Watson discovers Holmes living in a hut on the moor pursuing his own lines of enquiry, Sherlock reveals to Watson who the murderer is. ...read more.

Middle

Watson's reaction to this is that he feels used: "Then you used me, and yet do not trust me?" In a gentlemanly fashion Holmes justifies his actions by saying: "My dear fellow, you have been invaluable to me. As in many other cases and I beg that you will forgive me if I have seemed to play a trick on you..." He values Watson greatly as he knows he can trust and rely on him. At first when they thought that Sir Henry was dead, their reaction was of shock and horror: "...In order to have my case well rounded up and complete, I have thrown away the life of my client. It is the greatest blow which has befallen me in my career..." Holmes was worried about a public scandal. Unexpectedly when Stapleton arrived at the scene, his reaction to the death of Seldon was: 'Stapleton turned a ghastly face, upon us, but by supreme effort he had overcome his amazement and his disappointment.' The reader knows that he is a strong unwavering character. Now that Holmes and Watson are certain that Stapleton is the killer, Watson sees him differently: "I seem to see something terrible - a creature of infinite patience and craft, with a smiling face and a murderous heart." ...read more.

Conclusion

In modern society these issues would not be quite as relevant as they were in the Victorian era. By uniting the results of parallel lines of research by Homes and Watson, they were able to conjure up the mysteries leading to Sir Charles' death. As this all occurred in Chapter twelve it shows the significance of Sherlock's return to the novel. With all the clues and minor mysteries solved the detective and faithful companion are able to capture the killer of Sir Charles, by 'fixing the nets' in Chapter thirteen. Chapter twelve hinges the novel together, up until then the reader is led by a series of narrative hooks in the form of a variety of clues. Everything comes together here and the audience/reader now focuses on the capture of the murderer, hence 'Fixing the nets'. I enjoyed this novel because it kept me sustained and interested. I was able to build up background knowledge about Sherlock and Watson immediately, without having to read beforehand what kind of roles they played and specialised in. I think this was a very good novel and it sets a very good example to other Conan Doyle/Sherlock stories. This makes me want to read more Conan Doyle stories. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rashida Khanom Pre 1914 Prose: Coursework - 1 - ...read more.

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