In these stories we have three totally different villains, all with their own motives. Before we actually meet Dr Roylett we hear about him from his step-daughter, Miss Stoner. She describes his violent past and his current behaviour. Then, subsequently, we see his violence for ourselves as he storms in to Holmes’ office and bends the fire poker, threatening Holmes. During the di?? nouement , when we are told of his crime, we realise how clever and cunning he is, and how he had organised the murders; with the bell pull and ventilator.
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We can take from this that he was a very cold-hearted man who cared more about money, than his own kin.
In “The Cardboard Box” Jim Browner commits a double murder out of jealousy. Miss Cushing gives a description of him. She says that “a little drink would send him stark, staring mad”. This makes us think that he could be a dangerous man. When he finds out that his wife is having an affair he threatens to kill her lover if he is ever seen in her company again.
When he sees them together he goes mad and carries out his threat, in a spur of the moment, jealous rage. The villain in “Silver Blaze” is a different kind of criminal. We believe, at first that John Straker, is the victim of a brutal murder.
At the end we find out that, in fact, he was attempting to sabotage the horse in his care, so he would win a bet that he had against him. Therefore, the motive in this story is money. John Straker never did win the bet because whilst trying to injure the horse, Silver Blaze put up a struggle and he was struck in the head by the horses hoof. The Sherlock Holmes stories all follow the classic structure of detective stories. The clues are set out throughout the stories so that the reader can try to work out the crime too. Red Herrings are often used, to throw the reader off the scent and make sure we don’t work it out too soon.
These stories all have a di?? nouement, where Holmes explains the crime, and tells how he solved it. These three stories, especially “The Speckled Band”, have an emphasis on exotic features which would have intrigued the Victorian audience. The British empire in that time took up a large percent of the globe so they would be interested in the lands that their country owns. Things such as Dr Roylett’s “pets” would have fascinated them because in Victorian times, the majority of people didn’t travel, so they had no contact with exotic things.
The reference to gypsies in two of the stories would have had an effect on Victorian readers because in those times, gypsies were believed to cast spells and would frighten the reader. For a Victorian reader justice would have been more important than how it was executed and in these stories, justice is always given. Although, Holmes sometimes takes the law into his own hands and becomes the judge and jury. “I am no doubt indirectly responsible for [his] death, and I cannot say that it is likely to weigh very heavily upon my conscience. ” The world that Holmes lived in is very different to the world we live in now.
The methods of detection were very nai?? ve and weren’t nearly as accurate as the forensic detection we use today. Holmes is an upper class citizen as most detectives may have been in those days whereas the modern detective is either a member of the police force or a professional private detective. The age of the talented amateur has passed. Even though the Sherlock Holmes stories might not be as successful today as they were in Victorian times because of the difference in societies due to time, Sherlock Holmes is still one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time.
I believe that this is because his stories set the basis for modern detective novels and films. I also think, that because it was one of the original detective stories it is more compelling. Overall, the likeable characters, intriguing plot, gripping climax and the sense of realism have made the Sherlock Holmes stories very successful, in the past and present. Kathryn Thompson Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section.