Crime Fiction in Arthur Doyles’s "The Hounds of Baskerville" and Alfred Hitchcock´s "Rear Window"

Crime Fiction in Arthur Doyles’s "The Hounds of Baskerville" and Alfred Hitchcock´s "Rear Window"

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Popular crime fiction has tended to maintain and challenge the traditional conventions of the established genre for its own contextual purpose. The generations holds Arthur Doyles’s “ The Hounds of Baskerville“ as one of the most endearing classics, revolving around the brilliant deductions of the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes, establishing a series of conventions that were to serve as a catalyst for future writers. In this sense, Alfred Hitchcock’s own “Rear Window” exhibits a more liberal, postmodern approach that embeds itself in the contemporary consciousness due to the manipulations of its key conventional concerns, particularly the sleuth hero and the clue puzzle. In doing so, both texts maintain the core reflections of their societal context they were written in
THE SLEUTH
Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes emerges from “The Hounds of Baskerville", through which the Holmesian ratiocination is denoted by an admiring narrator and establishes the intellectual fascination exercised by the sleuth. Operating outside of the mainstream constabulary, the eccentric detective whose methods can be expressed verbosely as:” and in admiring the rapid deductions, as swift as intuitions, and yet always founded on a logical basis,” in which the contrasting similies serves as a reflection of late Victorian ideals that valued science and rational deductions of problems that arose. This acts as a beacon of Holmes’ clear superiority in a time of revolution and critical thought.
The detective’s Bohemianistic lifestyle, appropriately described by Watson as “erratic and dysfunctional” and his dedication to the pursuit of the metaphorical “unravelling of problems before him” depict Holmes as a subversive outsider of the stern Era but also refle...


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...urhood mirroring the social anxiety of never knowing when they were being watched . The window acts as a frame, bordering the people within them and symbolises an entrance to the private lives of the many. Combined with Jeffries indirect rhetoric to the audience as he states: I wonder if it’s ethical to watch a man with binoculars and a long focus lens” further reflecting on the morally-stringent Mcarthyistic era in a dynamic post-war context.
As such, despite the timeless parameters of the crime archetype, the genre is sufficiently flexible enough in order to define both the auteur and author’s context. The integration of key tropes, in particular, the sleuth hero and the clue puzzle within their respective stories builds upon the premise of the crime genre and reinforces contextual concerns of both Doyle’s The Hound of Baskervilles and Hitchock’s Rear Window



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