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To what extent does The Speckled and fulfil the traditional characteristics of a typical detective story and build up suspense to sustain the readers interest?

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Introduction

Speckled Band To what extent does "The Speckled and" fulfil the traditional characteristics of a typical detective story and build up suspense to sustain the reader's interest? The speckled band detective story was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In order to show to what extent the speckled band fulfils the traditional characteristics of a typical detective story and keep the reader's interest, in my essay, it will explain the structure of a typical detective story and how the story builds up suspense. It will also explain what the typical Victorian reader would expect from a detective story. Detective stories have kept to the same structure for many years, but more recently, in more modern detective structures, there have been changes in order and outcome of structure. Firstly the story will introduce the crime or detective. For example, the speckled band starts with Dr Watson introducing Sherlock Holmes shortly and then straightaway introducing one of the crime victims. Then suspects and motives are explained or discovered, in the speckled band, Helen stoner explains her story, unravelling motives, clues and suspects. Clues have to be laid out for the reader and also the detective equally. The detective must make his own hypothesis or have ideas about solving the crime. "Would cripple him to a serious extent...since it has proved he has the strongest motives". This quote shows that Holmes has come to the conclusion that Dr Grimesby Rowlett is the main suspect for having good motives for the crime. ...read more.

Middle

This quote shows that he is telling the story from memory and is not happening at the time, which is why he narrates the majority of the story. The story takes place in just 2 settings; Holmes and Watson's hotel and the ancestral house of the Roylott family. The story starts in the hotel where miss stoner comes and explains her story. Most of the story, however, takes place in the Roylott house, which is always described as a desolate and gloomy place. "The manor house is, as I have already said, very old, and only one wing is now inhabited". This quote shows the house is old and dilapidated, giving a strong impression. In the grounds if the houses there are exotic animals roaming around the garden, including a cheetah and a baboon. This, and the fact that miss stoner's sister was killed in the house, adds to the sense of danger. As Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Helen stoner come up to the ancestral mansion, there is a more detailed description of the house. "In one of these wings the windows were broken...while the roof was partly caved in, a picture of ruin". This quote shows that the house is in a very bad state which gives the reader a very different image in their minds. The investigation happens at night, with Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes roaming through the grounds changes the setting and adds tension to the scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also have to include more tension and be faster paced because they have to fit a crime, setting, suspects, investigation and solution in around an hour long slot. As a modern day reader I felt that the story was still interesting and kept you wondering how the suspects might have done it (Dr Roylott). I think this is quite good for a story that is quite old and that it has "aged" well. I sometimes found the language a bit strange but not too hard to understand, it helps because you learn a wider range of old-fashioned vocabulary. I found the more tense scenes (the midnight roam) more enjoyable because you were waiting to find out what had happened and how it was done. All this shows why Sherlock homes and sidekick Watson were successful in stories. It was all the dramatic details and the way Sherlock Holmes was very scrupulous and could deduce a lot of theories from not much evidence, and the way he allowed the reader to unravel the mystery. And then came the satisfaction at the end, which all fits with the typical detective structure and followed the Victorian reader's expectations. This is what made the Sherlock Holmes stories so popular, so much in Victorian times as in present day. So is the good use of suspense and tension in the language, your typical hero, victim and villain, all that you need to make an ever-popular detective story? The answer is simply that if they are written together well then it should make for a good story. THE END ...read more.

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