In the novel, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the reader is quickly introduced to many of the key characters, the curse of the Baskervilles, and the mystery of Sir Charles Baskerville’s death. The full theme, tone and mood of the mystery; however, takes some time to fully materialize. Most of the information provided to develop the story’s plot is delivered relatively clear and uncomplicated. This is a mystery or suspense novel so obviously there is the element of foreshadowing and the introduction of some disruptive or alternative theories. What is most puzzling to me is not who stole Sir Henry’s boot or if the beast is real or even who may have committed the murder of Sir Charles but what role the moor really has in the creation of the story and why it was chosen for the setting. In this essay, I will provide contextual information that will illuminate the author 's selection of the moor for the story 's setting and how it adds to the intrigue, trepidation and allure of the plot and characters of the novel.
The book opens with Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes examining a cane left behind by an unknown visitor. It is evident from their exchange that every detail and fact will be examined. One can see that both Holmes and Watson apply science to explain away each clue. Dr. James Mortimer, the owner of the cane, presents a manuscript that provides detail about a curse that has plagued the Baskerville family for several generations. Dr. Mortimer is also a man of science but admits to being very superstitious in regard to this legend. Dr. Mortimer introduces the moor as the home to the evil beast that has been haunting the Baskervilles who happen to live very...
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...t thought was that the plot was somewhat improbable and maybe even a little foolish. Most people of my generation or at least the people I know, do not believe in curses and would have little to no fear of a piece of vacant land. Bigfoot immediately came to my mind. I did not even know what a moor was and definitely did not appreciate why the author would choose it for the setting of his novel. Armed with some contextual information about the social and cultural events occurring at the time, general information about the moors of England and their deep history, and the background of the author, it became much more clear how and why Sir Doyle selected a moor for the location to carry out his chilling mystery. The deep, dark, and dreary moor definitely added to the intrigue, trepidation and allure of the plot and characters in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”.
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