The Speckled Band is just one of the murder mystery stories featuring
the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.
Holmes was not any ordinary detective, he was a detective who was
famous for solving murders. In this case Holmes is trying to solve the
mystery of the 'Speckled Band'.
Some examples of tension building techniques are dramatic events and
in some instances the inclusion of red herrings. Bad weather and night
time are also used as a means of building up atmosphere and tension.
The main setting is Dr Roylot's house in the middle of a wild, stormy
night. This immediately creates a sense of uneasiness in the readers
mind. In his description of the storm, Conan Doyle uses sounds to very
good effect. He talks about the howling wind and the rain beating on
the windows. This language has a double impact because the words
`howling' and `beating' are onomatopoeic. In fact, all the way through
the story, we see many examples of onomatopoeia. The feeling created
is of watching a film with full sound effects.
Conan Doyle's excellent skills in imagery are evident in his
description of Julia on page 174. He uses vivid language, such as
`state of agitation', `drawn and grey' and `restless, frightened
eyes' to build up a terrifying picture of this woman in the reader's
mind. However, no author can maintain tension levels at a height
throughout the whole story. There need to be moments of calm - a lull
in the storm, Conan Doyle achieves this contrast admirably in his
description of the journey from Waterloo Station through the Surrey
countryside. The language used here is soft and delicate creating a
mood of calm and beauty. We see...
... middle of paper ...
describes him by saying 'so tall his hat actually brushed the cross
bar of the doorway…deep-set, bile-shot eyes, and his high thin,
fleshless nose, gave him somewhat the resemblance of a fierce old bird
of prey.' This first description of him gives us an impression that he
is tall and somewhat eagle like. He is essential to help create
suspense. Roylott is Helen and Julia Stoner's stepfather. He was a
doctor and also had knowledge of exotic animals and owned a few too.
'… The doctor kept a cheetah and a baboon. We had no feeling of
security until our doors were locked.' This shows he has a keen
interest for animals. Roylott is violent and aggressive. Sherlock
Holmes was also an important character in order to build up suspense.
He was a detective and helped Helen Stoner to investigate the cause of
her sister, Julia's death. He helped to create suspense.
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