Isolation in Detective Fiction Essay

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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…show more content…
It is also the location of the death of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which is extremely frightening because no one knows what happened in the laboratory, and everyone fears the unknown. The locked room also appears in “The Problem of Cell 13” by Jacques Futrelle; however, the use of the locked room in this short story instills the fear of being imprisoned in the audience, rather than the fear of the unknown. The locked cell is filled with vile creatures and lacks any type of comfort, causing the reader to cringe at the idea of the character being in such a place. In “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the locked room is the location of a murder as well as the house of the murder weapon. Doyle has the character of the stepfather, Dr. Roylott, lock the snake in a metal safe, which depicts that dangerous things are kept in locked places. Locked rooms in detective fiction have a negative connotation, which the reader can relate to being locked out of communication with society. Authors also create silent chaos in the stories by depicting the regression, or reverse evolution, of mankind. Evolution, as an idea becoming popular in the incipient stages of the detective fiction genre, was a commonly used idea by writers as a way of evoking the fear of a more instinctual side of human beings in the society. Reverse evolution connects with silent chaos because it does not happen right away, it is a slow process which society would not notice
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