This piece of coursework will be answering the question and title above, this will include the examination of ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’ and also ‘The Final Problem’. I have analysed these different types of the two stories – background, context of the stories, openings, settings, characters, including and investigation of the style, language and themes. One of the key parts to why the Sherlock Holmes stories are still popular is the author, Arthur Conan Doyle. He was born on the 22nd May 1859. Throughout his upbringing Conan Doyle and his family moved a lot, trying to break free of the dirty streets of Edinburgh.
While their family were shifting about from house to house, his mum would read him stories about medieval honour, romance and knights in shining armour. His writing shows and displays that his imagination was fed by short stories and enthusiasm to write about crime, science fiction and fantasy. In his school days he was under strict rules in a Jesuit school with a hard and strict reputation. From school he studied medicine at Edinburgh University in 1877. At University he met a man who he based the stories of Sherlock homes on and used him as a model for his character.
This man was called Joseph Bell, he always insisted on his students to observe the detail. He was a mastermind and authority of criminal psychology. Conan Doyle loved reading especially works of science, theology, spiritualism, mysticism and metaphysics. Sherlock Holmes became one of the most famous fictional detectives because of his author like all characters. But Conan Doyle and Holmes were different to all the others. Arthur Conan Doyle was so into crime that he knew it in and out, his experiences of different cases were shown in the Sherlock Holmes stories. Readers once threatened him to bring their ‘perfect detective’ to life again.
Openings to a story are very important; they either keep the reader interested or make them shut the book. Also they can set out the story to the reader informing them about the characters or describing the setting. The first part of the opening in The Adventure Of The Speckled Band includes a complex sentence that is nine lines long, this is effective and makes the story what it is because of the description and the detail included. It sets off the story. The story is written in first person narrative and so is The Final Problem, writing in this way allows the reader to be apart of the story and draws in the reader straight away.
The narrator is Holmes’ associate, Watson. Dr. Watson is the middle man between Holmes and any of his clients and he is woken by Holmes in the early hours of morning to see their distressed client which is Helen stoner. The entrance of Helen Stoner is dramatic and adds a sense of mystery to the story because she is dressed in black and heavily veiled. In the opening Conan Doyle displays how intelligent and sharp Sherlock Holmes is, ‘You have come in by train this morning, I see’. He says this to Helen Stoner because he sees half of a return ticket in the palm of her left glove.
Also he notices mud spattered on her jacket in seven places, Holmes even identifies that this mud is from travelling in a dog cart on heavy roads because no other vehicle throws up mud in that way when you sit on the left hand side of the driver. Holmes makes the client shocked and as wrote in the text ‘bewildered’. The start of the story has all the ingredients of classic start with first person narrative making it almost real, and to the readers it was not an average opening. It included mystery and gave the original readers a threat of murder.