Evil in Sherlock Holmes "The Speckled Band"

1595 WordsNov 27, 20117 Pages
Good vs. Evil, in “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” This essay will examine the concept of “good vs. evil” as appears in the mystery story “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1892. Speckled Band is a Sherlock Holmes mystery and one of the twelve stories that Doyle wrote in his “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” series (Wikipedia). Doyle was said to have felt that “Speckled Band” was his best Sherlock Holmes story (Wikipedia). When I first read “The Speckled Band”, I thought this was a basic “good vs. evil” type story, with Sherlock Holmes and his partner, Dr. Watson, being the good guys and the mad doctor, Grimesby Roylott, being the evil side. It seemed natural that Sherlock Holmes…show more content…
Fearing that he would lose his excellent source of income and also the mansion in which he and the stepdaughters reside, I suggest that Dr. Roylott is motivated by money and greed to stop the stepdaughters from marrying. When the first stepdaughter is planning to be married, Dr. Roylott resorts to murder to prevent losing a one-third share of the estate. Along with this basic greed, Dr. Roylott appears to also be concerned with his social status which he would define as having his lucrative income and living in the historic family mansion at Stoke Moran. With the possibility that both sisters would marry, his income would be reduced by two-thirds and that would likely mean he would lose the house and have to live on a much smaller income that he had been used to. This combination of greed and concern for maintaining his economic and social status is sufficient motivation for Dr. Roylott to commit murder. The author does not provide any other data or evidence that Dr. Roylott is fundamentally an evil man, and what is written about the doctor’s history would not lead the reader to conclude that he had been evil in his past. What the story does tell us about Dr. Roylott is that he had a quick temper and major anger management issues: “But a terrible change came over our stepfather about this time. Instead of making friends and exchanging visits with our neighbours, who had
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