Suspense in Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles
When Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle was writing The Hound of the Baskervillesit was the era of Queen Victoria. He used Victorian England for thesetting because it increased tension. The Victorian times were afrightening and eerie time. There were flickering gas lamps, which litthe streets casting scary shadows, and also there was a weak policeforce and crime, prostitution, drug abuse and murders were common.Factories made the streets dark, smoky and dreary and there was oftenfog that was caused by the smoky factories.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?s style of writing in Hound of the Baskervillesis the typical classic English mystery style because it has severalpredictable elements such as an isolated house, a corpse, a smallgroup of people who are all suspects and a detective. It also tellsthe reader clues so they can make their own mind up from a narrator inthis case Watson- who is a loyal companion to Sherlock Holmes:
?Well, Watson what do you make of it??
This shows that Watson and Sherlock Holmes are a team. However Holmesis the brain of the team Watson is more of the associate of Holmes.The fact that Watson isn?t as clever as Holmes means that Watson can?twork things out so the reader has to wait for things to be explainedby Holmes. Holmes is removed from the action in this book because he?dgive too much away too early on.
The narrative has twists and turns giving the reader false clues thismaking it harder for the reader to work out who the murderer is.Although it is straight forward and reasonably easy to follow lots ofstrange things happen such as- a visitor leaving a cane with dog teethmarks on it which is maybe rel…
…e of inquiry.
However the meeting of Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes in the hut on themoor at the end of chapter 11 shows a weakness in the plot. It seems areal let down to what could have been another possible line of enquiry? to introduce Sherlock Holmes this way seems implausible that heshould rough it on the wilds of Dartmoor. Also two thirds of the waythrough the book the reader knows it?s Stapleton who is the culprit ?it?s just a question of acquiring the evidence.
Nevertheless, the tension is kept going by the need of him killingSir Henry and he is nearly successful. The reader however, knows thatit is unlikely that he is going to manage to kill Sir Henry. Overallhowever I think that Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle manages to create interestand suspense in the first three chapters and successfully keep itgoing throughout the rest of the book.