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Why is Conan Doyle a successful writer of crime stories?

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Introduction

18.3.2 Unit 3: A selection of Sherlock Holmes short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Matthew Wood 10D Why is Conan Doyle a successful writer of crime stories? In this essay I hope to find out how Arthur Conan Doyle is a successful writer of crime stories. I hope to this by looking at five different elements of the books, characters, plot, settings, period detail and atmosphere. Sherlock Holmes in the speckled band is presented in a mysterious, cunning and unusual way, "he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual and even the fantastic". Sherlock Holmes's deduction skills are very good compared to most people, this is shown when he talks to Miss Stoner for the first time, "I observe the second half of a return ticket in the palm of your left glove. You must have started early, and yet you had a good drive in a dog-cart, along heavy roads" This continues when he tells her how he knew all of that, "The left arm of your jacket is spattered with mud in no less than seven places. ...read more.

Middle

Sherlock Holmes the red-headed league is presented as a mysterious, calm and collected person. He likes to be left alone and smoke his pipe to help him solve his crimes, "I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes" and again, "He curled himself up in his chair, with his knees drawn up to his hawk-like nose, and there he sat with his eyes closed and his black clay pipe thrusting out like the bill of some strange bird." Dr Watson the red-headed league is slightly confused with why Holmes asked him to come. Watson shares Holmes's liking for the bizarre and hence the reason why he accepted the case, "I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of everyday life.". Holmes uses Watson for a second opinion, "Perhaps, Mr Wilson, you would have the great kindness to recommence your narrative." John Clay is a clever opponent with a devious plan, "Your red-headed idea was very new and effective". The plot the red-headed league is very cleverly put together and confuses you at first but in the end you finally see what happened and think to your self, how could I have missed that. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sherlock Holmes goes on to describe how he turned to evil, "A criminal strain ran through his blood, which instead of being modified, was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers.". To Sherlock Holmes capturing him would be the top of his career, "If I could free society of him, I should feel that my own career had reached its summit.". Sherlock Holmes is willing to die for the public if it means killing Moriarty, "I would, in the interests of the public, cheerfully accept the latter.". The plot in the final problem is very clever in how it is put together because you never expect Sherlock Holmes to die at the end. The settings at the Reichenbach falls are vivid, alive and atmospheric. The period detail in the final problem is shown when they travel by train because it is the fastest means of transport available at the time. The creation of atmosphere in the final problem adds to the success of this story because of the tension, threat and extreme menace coming form professor Moriarty. In conclusion I think Conan Doyle is a successful writer of short stories because his characterisation is near perfect and the way he can stop people from putting the book down is done very well. ...read more.

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