Essay on Isolation in Detective Fiction

Essay on Isolation in Detective Fiction

Length: 1299 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In detective fiction, authors create chaos, which they balance with a sense of structure and reason. They implement many elements to entice the reader to continue with the detective on his quest to solve the riddle and defeat the chaos, which can be divided into two sections: noticeable chaos and silent chaos. Noticeable chaos includes elements such as murder and thievery, obvious aspects of detective fiction that make the reader cringe. Silent chaos, on the other hand, includes locked rooms and settings; things that make the reader shiver because they have no idea why it is affecting them so much. Authors use these different elements to support common themes that are woven into many different works of detective fiction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Jacques Futrelle’s “The Problem of Cell 13” each support the theme of isolation in detective fiction. Throughout detective fiction, isolation instills the silent chaos and fear of separation into society.
One element of detective fiction that authors use to create isolation and implement silent chaos is the locked room element. In many detective stories characters are placed in locked rooms or locations where there seems to be no way in or out. One of society's biggest fears is being alone or in solitude; the locked room element plays up this fear in the readers and in the characters making them feel as though nothing good happens in the locked room. One locked room that readers are introduced to is Dr. Jekyll’s laboratory in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. While Dr. Jekyll is in his laboratory, he is separated from everyone else, an...


... middle of paper ...


...es every persons heart. Whether it be a locked room, an animalistic personality, or a setting which removes the reader from reality, isolation is used to embody silent chaos. The theme of isolation is prevalent in many works of detective fiction, and it imprints upon the reader the silent fear that creeps up in the dead of night and does not go away.


Works Cited

Doyle, Arthur Conan. “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”. Detective Fiction: Crime and Compromise. Eds. Dick Allen and David Chacko. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1974. 101-120. Print.

Futrelle, Jacques. “The Problem of Cell 13”. Detective Fiction: Crime and Compromise. Eds. Dick Allen and David Chacko. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1974. 122-150. Print.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Mineola: Dover Publications Inc., 1991. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Isolation in Poetry

- Walt Whitman, a poet and journalist of the nineteenth century, is famous for his ability to see past the physical and write about themes that delve deep into the emotional. In his lyric poem, “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” this fact is highlighted by his concise yet sublime description of isolation as felt by both the spider and reflective speaker. This particular theme of isolation is commonly utilized in writings of detective fiction, such as those by Edgar Allan Poe, to highlight the crazed emotional state of man as well as his fervor and ability, when provided with an enclosed space, to connect the dots and thereby come to a conclusion....   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of Tzvetan Todorov 's Detective Fiction Essay

- Tzvetan Todorov views detective fiction as literature that speaks for itself and needs no introduction. According to Todorov, detective fiction should adapt to its new genre instead of going beyond traditional literature (43). Todorov views detective fiction as two separate entities: the crime that establishes the groundwork of the story and the investigation that backtracks the crime in a logical manner. Todorov believes that these stories, “in their purest form,” are completely independent from each other but are essential in the creation of a detective story (43)....   [tags: Detective fiction, Edgar Allan Poe]

Strong Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Connection of House, M.D. and Detective Fiction Through Social Division Essay

- House shares multiple themes and parallels with different detective fiction stories. Some of the most familiar parallels are those between house and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes. Along with their names, the two characters have many other things in common, such as an addiction to some type of drug; House is addicted to Vicodin and Homes is addicted to cocaine. They also both have trusty sidekicks of Dr. Watson and Dr. Wilson, and the inept police force of Holmes’ stories are portrayed, as a team of specialists in House’s world....   [tags: detective genre, Sherlock Holmes]

Strong Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Century Of The Detective

- The Century of the Detective By: Jürgen Thorwald The foundation of modern criminology was introduced in 1879 by twenty-six year old Alphonse Bertillon. Prior to the introduction of his anthropological technique known as anthropometry, law enforcement could only identify criminals by name and photograph. Anthropometry is the method of collecting exact measurements of criminals. Alphonse Bertillon was born in Paris in 1853 to the famous medical professor Louis Bertillon. He drifted through a variety of jobs in England and France after he was expelled from school....   [tags: Police, Crime, Detective]

Strong Essays
1379 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Detective Fiction & Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

- According to the English crime writer P.D. James (1920-) “for a book to be described as detective fiction there must be a central mystery and one that by the end of the book is solved satisfactorily and logically, not by good luck or intuition, but by intelligent deduction from clues honestly if deceptively presented.” (James. 2009: 16). This is traditionally conducted via a detective; a figure deployed within the narrative structure ‘whose occupation is to investigate crimes’ (Oxford. 2006: 202)....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1799 words (5.1 pages)

Gaining from Detective Work in Oedipus the King and A Scandal in Bohemia

- A detective story is a genre of fiction in which a person attempts to solve a crime. The detective may be a professional or an amateur, and generally has nothing to gain from solving the crime. However in Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King”, the main character Oedipus is not only determined to solve a crime, but he is also in pursuit to find his own identity. This is similar to Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” where Sherlock Holmes has been hired to work as a detective in return for monetary compensation....   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Detective Story, ]

Strong Essays
1414 words (4 pages)

Essay on Detective Fiction

- Why Ask Why. The most important part of any type of book or story is that it be interesting. This proves to be particularly important in detective fiction as well. What could be more interesting than having a crime committed in front of you, given all (or most) of the details and still not be able to figure it out. This is exactly how detective fiction authors draw people into these stories and books. By weaving an intricate and interesting plot full of fascinating characters, and all types of details about the crime, readers get drawn into the plot and cannot stop reading until they find out the solution to the mystery....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1161 words (3.3 pages)

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as Detective Fiction Essay

- J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as Detective Fiction The play “An Inspector Calls” starts of in the genre of detective fiction. But, as the play goes on, the reader realises that the genre does also fit into politics and mystery. The play has many conventions of detective fiction that misleads the reader, not through out but near the end of the play. When the reader finds out that there is no revelation scene, one suspects that this play is not detective fiction, but another genre disguised as detective fiction....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
2136 words (6.1 pages)

Edgar Allen Poe, Father of Modern Detective Fiction Essay

- E.A. Poe became the father of modern day detective stories by introducing Dupin in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" as the first detective to use analytical and imaginative reasoning to solve the mystery and will create a guideline for all detective stories to come. The word "detective" was not in existence until Poe's writings. Mysteries had existed but never such a story that used a "detector" or placed such emphasis upon analysis versus trial and error. The vivid painting of the scene of the crime as well as the crime itself was likewise never done in writings until Poe....   [tags: American Literature]

Strong Essays
928 words (2.7 pages)

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as Detective Fiction Essay

- J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as Detective Fiction The play ‘An Inspector Calls’ fits into the genre of detective fiction because there are many key elements from a detective fiction present. However there are also some factors missing which do not allow the play to be called a detective fiction. It is a simple cover up to disguise the play from the audience so they do not see the main genre of the play which could be either a moral or political play. This is realised at the point when the Inspector leaves without charging anyone of a crime....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)