"The Hound Of The Baskervilles" as a Detective Novel

Topics: Novels

Analyse Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles” exploring how the author uses the devices of detective fiction within the novel to create suspense and mystery. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one of the most famous writers of detective fiction and the creator of the brilliant characters Sherlock Holmes and his right-hand man Dr. Watson, Sherlock Homes being one of the best known detectives. Conan Doyle, the son of a civil servant was born in Edinburgh in 1859. Later he studied for his degree in medicine and then in 1885 after graduating he decided to set up as a doctor.

In order to fill in quiet moments at work he decided to write detective stories. “A Study in Scarlet” which appeared in1887, introduced the detective Sherlock Holmes, whose appearances in several other stories made him and his character household names. Conan Doyle’s use of complex and ingenious plots, keeps the reader interested and creates suspense and mystery, which suggests that Conan Doyle may be responsible for some features of the detective fiction genre.

The way in which Conan Doyle portrays Sherlock Holmes as being an arrogant man with a high intellect who uses his own deductive methods and elementary approach, also suggests that Conan Doyle may be responsible for some features of the genre. The book “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (THOTB) was published in 1902 which is reflected in the novel as we get a wonderful sense of late Victorian England. A point which we must not forget is that “THOTB” is based upon the legend of the hell hound in Black Shuck, on the North Norfolk coast.

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According to the legend the hell hound roamed the coast of North Norfolk and scared people to death.

However Conan Doyle moved the setting of his novel “THOTB” to Devonshire so that he could create the story of “THOTB”. He may have also thought that Devon’s desolate moorland, could make the novel more exciting and create a greater sense of suspense and mystery for the reader. To find out how Conan Doyle uses the devices of detective fiction to create suspense and mystery in “THOTB”, it is necessary to examine “THOTB” to see whether he uses the devices of detective fiction and to what extent he uses them. One of the main features of the detective fiction genre is the use of the device of “in media res”, meaning in the middle of things.

This is evident in the novel from the start. Generally most stories of the genre start in the middle of the action. This is when the crime has already been committed and it is just a question of “who dunnit? “. “THOTB” is introduced in this way when Dr. Mortimer goes to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson with the case of the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville outside his Devonshire home of Baskerville Hall. The reason why Dr. Mortimer comes to Sherlock Holmes with the case, is because he was a close friend of Sir Charles and he wants the mystery to be solved before the heir to the hall Sir Henry arrives from America.

Firstly Dr. Mortimer reads a document to Sherlock Holmes about “.. The origin of the hound of the Baskervilles”. According to the legend the family has been cursed by “a foul thing, a great, black beast, shaped like a hound”, ever since the evil great ancestor Sir Hugo Baskerville had occupied the hall. The legend states that he was a malicious, greedy man who treated people very badly and then one night he crossed the moor chasing a maiden, but instead he was viscously murdered by a hound. Ever since then all the Baskervilles have been cursed and die in mysterious ways.

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"The Hound Of The Baskervilles" as a Detective Novel. (2019, Nov 27). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles-as-a-detective-novel/

"The Hound Of The Baskervilles" as a Detective Novel
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