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To what extent are chapters 5 and 6 of Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles representative of the novel as a whole?

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Salome Neequaye GCSE Pre-1914 Prose Study Coursework Miss Bergin To what extent are chapters 5 and 6 of Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles representative of the novel as a whole? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. He studied at Stony Hurst as a member of the Society of Jesus which was a religious order founded in the early sixteenth century. He graduated in medicine from Edinburgh in 1881, winning his doctorate in 1885. With his degree, he practised medicine at South Sea in the 1880s as well as other different locations. His literacy career began at the age of twenty, inventing Sherlock Holmes at the age of twenty-six. From moving to London, he transferred the characters Sherlock and his partner Watson into short stories which were published in the Strand magazine. Doyle was seen to have detective stories down to a fine art; his influence almost omnipresent. Many of his own experiences have influenced him in writing some of his novels. For instance, by serving as a physician in the Boer War, he was able to write The Great Boer War in 1900. Two years later he wrote The War in South Africa: Its Causes and Conduct. In the same year, The Hound of the Baskervilles was created. It was at this time that Doyle abandoned his medical practise to devote his time to writing. In respect of the novel, Doyle's medical background, to add with being an advocate of Spiritualism since the late 1880s, can be seen as being used in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Doyle himself could be seen as Dr James Mortimer, the open-minded doctor who does put aside what cannot be proven by scientific reason. * * * * * The plot of The Hound of the Baskervilles first came about when Arthur Conan Doyle went on holiday to Dartmoor with friend John Dickson Carr. ...read more.


Frequently, the detective fails to solve the case by deductive reasoning from facts known by the character and ourselves as readers. Detective stories, often called 'whodunits', did not appear in this original form. Rather, it began with stories where the reader was not a participant, more a witness. The detective story can be seen as a sub-genre of the mystery story, or the other way round. This type of story can be seen to deal with crime-frequently murder-and its successful solution. Suspense arises in the course of seeking that solution, which places the detective, others in pursuit of the villain, or innocent victims, in jeopardy. This can be seen to be in relation to The Hound of the Baskervilles as the elements shown in the novel. Gothic tradition of literature can be seen in this novel to some extent. The Gothic novel, or Gothic romance, emphasised mystery and horror and was filled with ghost-haunted rooms, underground passages, and secret stairways. The term Gothic is also used to designate narrative prose or poetry of which the principal elements are violence, horror, and the supernatural. Doyle takes full advantage of the excitement, and power of a Gothic- style mystery, with the tale of an ancient curse and a common plot-line, with two dead bodies at the hands of possibly a supernatural beast. On the other hand, however, he demonstrates a strong faith, at least in Holmes, of a logical, rational explanation for even the most mysterious incidences. Arguably, the supernatural ties together questions of class, which run throughout the novel. Superstition can also be linked to weakness however, most prominently with lower class status. In this sense, it is interesting that Doyle regularly refers to the superstitious commoners, but only rarely lets us meet them first hand. The Hound of the Baskervilles can be seen to use this by infiltrating the story of the hound and the curse, as well as the mysterious character the deserted moor has itself. ...read more.


For the whereabouts of The Times newspaper which had been used to send Sir Henry Baskerville a warning letter, instead of carrying out this task himself, he calls a young lad to do all the work for while he goes to find one taxi. Having an egotistical character, you can see that he feels either himself or Watson are to respected to do the dirty work that some teen can do instead. He wants to get more credit for solving the mysteries while the ones who do the research get nothing. * * * * * From chapters five and six we can see examples Doyle has used to express society, history, culture and literacy context. * * * * * Looking back at The Hound of the Baskervilles we can see that Arthur Conan Doyle has used a number of techniques to influence our experiences while reading his novel. This is from all different effects such as his own personal experiences and beliefs, other genres such as that from gothic novels, the descriptive language and the use of red herrings as well as many more. His belief in spiritualism as well as working as a physician already gives himself background information to add to the novel and already gives the reader two elements found in the novel the natural and the supernatural. The language used in the story is well placed because, instead of writing descriptions of the characters, he infiltrates the information about them into their speech, so we are always picking up new information about the characters as we go along. The link with gothic novel is shown to us by the terrible curse laid upon the Baskervilles and the terrifying hound which haunts them. This contribution adds to the steady rise of tension which increase the deeper we go into the book. * * * * * By looking over all aspects of chapters five and six as well as the chapters prior and succeed to that, they can be seen as a fitting representative of The Hound of the Baskervilles as a whole. ...read more.

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