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The Speckled Band' Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories have withstood the test of time and still entertain people as books

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Introduction

Sam Ward English Coursework Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle 'The Speckled Band' Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories have withstood the test of time and still entertain people as books, films and television series. The secret of this success lies in the three ingredients within these books, for example, structure, character development and setting. In 'The Speckled Band', as in 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' and 'The Red headed League', the readers' attention is caught at the beginning by various aspects of the mystery being revealed to them gradually by one of the characters. This is an effective way of involving the reader through structure. For example, when Helen Stoner visits Sherlock Holmes, her story reveals important clues, which have to be pieced together by the reader and by Holmes. Just enough is related to gain interest, but not too much. This type of structure maintains interest. She tells Holmes and Watson of certain events which have terrified her. She starts of by explaining about her stepfather, Dr Grimesby Roylott. She tells them that he is living on her late mother's Will. She then explains that when each of his step-daughters is married, 1/3 of the will is obtained by the married step-daughter. She carries on and notifies Holmes and Watson of the mysterious circumstances in which her sister passes away, 2 weeks before her arranged marriage. After hearing this there is a good reason to believe that Dr Roylott is the culprit and is behind the death of Helen's sister. Helen then informs the pair of the night of her sister's death. ...read more.

Middle

After Holmes states this he starts to explain the rest of the clues. He tells Helen and Watson that when he noticed the bell rope, which was a dummy, the bed bolted to the floor so that it could not be moved and the ventilator, he instantly drew to the conclusion that the rope was used as a bridge for something passing through the hole of the ventilator to get down to the bed. The idea of a snake immediately occurred to Holmes but he decided not to let on about his suspicions. The idea of the snake was made even more possible due to the fact that Dr Roylott had a large supply of creatures from India. Holmes then thought of the whistle that was heard by both Helen and Julia. This was obviously used to call back the deadly snake before the morning light which shows that the snake was obviously trained. He probably trained it using the saucer of milk found in Roylott's room. Also after the inspection of Dr Roylott's chair this showed that he had a habit of standing on it, which of course would be necessary to reach the ventilator. The sight of the safe, the saucer of milk and the loop of whip cord put all doubt out of Holmes' mind that he could be wrong. The Metallic clang heard by Miss Stoner was her step-father hastily closing the iron safe upon its terrible occupant, the snake. All of this information also confirmed to Holmes that it was not possible that the gypsies were the culprits behind this dreadful mystery, as the poison from the snake would take effect very rapidly and could not be traced by any test. ...read more.

Conclusion

the atmosphere but as well as the characters readers can feel the same as no detail is left out and we are therefore provided with vivid images so that they feel like they are sat in the same vault as Sherlock Holmes and his companions. A full picture is constructed without leaving anything to the imagination making the story a lot more exciting. There are a few very important ingredients for a good mystery. The first ingredient is the structure of the story. Without the correct structure the interest of the reader would be lost, certain information has to be given at important times throughout the story in order to capture the reader's interest and to build curiosity. The second is suspense. Suspense is needed to get the reader excited, keep them interested and leave them hungry for more. The third is the characters in the story. Without compelling characters the story would be weak. If we do not have feelings for the characters we are not interested in what happens to them. And last, but not least, is the setting. Without an interesting, detailed setting the reader will not be able to have a sense of the atmosphere. Atmosphere is essential in order for the reader to imagine the same feelings of the characters within the story. I think that Conan Doyle's writing is exceptional. He writes believable, descriptive stories that intrigue the reader from the very outset. I enjoyed Conan Doyle's 'The Speckled Band', as it was an interesting, intriguing mystery that kept me guessing and wanting to find out the conclusion as soon as possible. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page - ...read more.

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