preview

Although it is clearly a product of its time, The Speckled Band holds

Although it is clearly a product of its time, The Speckled Band holds

the interest of a modern audience and s a fine example.

“Although it is clearly a product of its time, The Speckled Band holds

the interest of a modern audience and s a fine example of the

detective story genre.” Do you agree with this comment on Conan

Doyle’s story?

The Speckled Band has a Victorian context and in the Victorian times

stories had different aspects, which they found appealing, but as a

modern audience we are attracted to other aspects of stories. Because

of these different appeals we know that The Speckled Band is a product

of its time. The Speckled Band keeps the modern reader guessing the

solution to the crime. This is very entertaining for the reader as

they must try to find the answer before Sherlock Holmes does. Sherlock

Holmes is characterised as an almost super human person with amazing

powers of deduction this makes us admire him. Watson (Holmes’s

accomplice) is a key character as he is someone who we relate to as he

goes on the same journey as us.

The speech in the speckled band is in a formal tone, “my name is

Sherlock Holmes. This is my intimate friend and associate Dr Watson”

this is different to our modern stories as we like to show less

restrained emotions, so some readers may find the tone boring. The

sentences spoken are long and complicated in structure they have an

exaggerated style, “I observe that you are shivering”. We see again

that The Speckled Band is a product of its time as there is a lot of

old fashioned language, like “sorry to knock you up” and “haggard”.

One of the popular appeals in Victorian times was melodrama and there

is lots of this in the story. The helplessness of Helen Stoner and the

fact that she needs Holmes to “advise [her] how to walk amid the

dangers which encompass [her]”would appeal to the Victorians a lot as

in those times women were considered the more vulnerable sex, but a

modern audience may find this over the top because it is over

exaggerated to us. The modern audience may find it even more

overdramatic that Helen Stoner needs Sherlock to “throw a little light

through the dense darkness which surrounds [her]” the modern audience

sees this melodrama as too forced and false. But Victorians loved it

as in their times men were considered as strong, brave and the ones

who would stand up for women. This also shows that The Speckled Band

was a product of its time.
Get Access