Arthur Conan Doyle's Stories and Their Undying Appeal Essays

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Arthur Conan Doyle's Stories and Their Undying Appeal

When the Sherlock Holmes books were written, London was rife with croime. The slums, especially, were victims to prostitution, murder and drug abuse. Jack the Ripper was free on the streets, making many people scared. The police couldn't catch him so the public resented the police force as they weren't seen to be protecting them. I think that this is one of the reasons why the Sherlock Holmes stories were so successful. The idea of a detective who solves every crime would appeal highly to a Victorian readership. Also, all the clues are given to the reader which invites them to solve the crime as well.

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Watson respects this, and has become accustomed to Holmes' somewhat peculiar way of working. He also, never asks Holmes about his thought process during the investigation, because he knows that Holmes will tell him when he is ready. Modern detectives also follow this pattern with the main detective and the less talented, loyal "side kick"

The three stories I have studied, although they have common features, are set in very different places. "The Speckled Band" is set in Dr Roylett's house. The physical description given by Conan Doyle gives an image of dereliction; "the windows were broken and blocked with wooden boards, while the roof was partly caved in, a picture of ruin", with only one wing of the house with suitable living conditions. This supports the idea of money as a motif, because the house is falling apart, and Dr Roylett has not been able to do it up.

"Silver Blaze" is set on the moors of Dartmoor. This isolated and eerie setting creates a fearful atmosphere. The crime was committed in a hollow out on the moor. When Holmes and Watson are following the footprints we get the impression that they are totally alone, with nothing and no-one around for miles.

"The Cardboard Box", however, is set in a totally different location. The street to which the
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