Practical vs. Supernatural in The Hound of the Baskervilles Essay

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The novel The Hound of the Baskervilles is written by a British author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1859. Following “nine years in Jesuit schools, he went to Edinburgh University, where he received a degree in medicine in 1881. He then became an eye specialist in Southsea, with a distressing lack of success” (Doyle 1). Doyle’s financial letdown in Southsea created a need for an alternative way for him to generate profit, so he became an author. In the first of his many stories A Study in Scarlet, Doyle brings Sherlock Holmes to life; he is a detective and the protagonist of the story. Doyle’s inspiration and idea for an observant detective came from Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary. Dr. Bell…show more content…
In his third of four novels The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle uses Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson, to demonstrate the theme of practical control opposed to supernatural power; he does this symbolically through British culture by discovering, investigating, and resolving mysteries.
In the beginning of the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, there is an unexplained curse on the Baskerville family; through discovering the mystery of the curse, Dr. Mortimer, a medical practitioner and family friend of the Baskervilles, has an early eighteenth century manuscript explaining the curse. He briefly mentions it to Holmes and Watson, and then he reads the manuscript aloud. It is because of Sir Hugo Baskerville, that the family is cursed. Sir Hugo is described in the memo as “a most wild, profane, and godless man” (Doyle 21). According to information in the manuscript, Sir Hugo became utterly obsessed with the daughter of a yeoman; “But the young maiden, being discreet and of good repute, would ever avoid him, for she feared his evil name” (Doyle 21). The yeoman’s daughter was kidnapped by Sir Hugo, and was taken with him and his friends; “With five or six of his idle and wicked companions, stole down upon the farm and carried off the maiden, her father and brothers being from home, as he well knew” (Doyle 21). They brought the maiden to the Hall, and

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