Thursday, January 23, 2020
Conan Doyles the Adventure Of The Speckled Band and Victorian Readers
INTRODUCTION The Victorian era, a time of change in industry, education and family life brought us the famous Conan Doyle detective - Sherlock Holmes. At a point in history where wealth, media and intelligence were becoming more and more prominent in British society the mystery genre became as popular as today's soaps. Doyle's crime formula could be described as a masterpiece, his stories always involving the same fundamental factors that kept his readers hooked. These factors can be seen in The Adventures of the Speckled Band, Helen Stoner the helpless victim, Doctor Roylott the clever villain, a thorough investigation carried out by Holmes followed by a deduction, and a serving of justice. But the question is, how and why did these appeal so successfully to the Victorian readers? SHERLOCK HOLMES Sherlock Holmes as a fictional character was brought across by Conan Doyle to be a very popular detective, one of whom people "insist upon seeing". This popularity is reflected in real life as the stories had such a sense of realism the readers were compelled to see him as a real life figure. It also implies that he is successful in all the cases he is employed to examine. In the story, Holmes is a confident character, reassuring his 'helpless victim', "'You must not fear' he said soothingly". For Doyle's Victorian readers, this characteristic, along with the fact he always defeated the wrong-doer, gave them a sense of hope and security against the frightening changes going on and the increase in crime. This 'safety' the readers felt kept them hooked. Doyle's carefully crafted detective was always polite, for example "would you have the kindness". He was calm, strong and dedicated with an attitude of his ?profession is its own rew... ...e had had access to before. Holmes? characteristics added up to the ideal detective and a role model and figure of hope to Victorian society. Watson as a narrator is successfully used as the point through which readers could connect with the story and also the figure used to create captivating tension through the language employed by Doyle. Doctor Roylott was used by Doyle as the character the readers loved to hate and a stereotypical villain. The complete contrast between Holmes and Roylott created suspense and tension for the readers. Doyle cleverly moulded the female character Helen Stoner into a figure of aspiration to his female Victorian readers. Finally, the huge sense of justice the story is based around gave the readers something to cling to with hope. All of these created the infallible technique Doyle used which successfully appealed to Victorian readers.