How does Sir Arthur Conan Doyle create suspense in the novel “The Speckled Band”

8 August 2016

One of the ways that Doyle builds up suspense throughout the story is by weaving in lots of red herrings into the storyline. The reader believes one thing whilst the story twists at the end and reveals something completely di? erent. As an example, when Miss Stoner’s sister dies and makes reference to a ‘Band” , the reader automatically assumes a ‘band of people’. Even Watson refers to a band of people, leading the reader to instantaneously think of the gypsies when in fact they have nothing to do with the crime. the way that Mr Doyle creates the characters helps build suspense into the story.

He portrays Sherlock’s character as a wise man who is quiet and reserved. Whilst making Dr Roylott character, a mean, tough and a sinister one. He also portrays Helen Stoner as a timid character who is scared of her father and is constantly in danger of losing her life. the stark contrast in all of the characters creates a tense and compelling atmosphere. An additional method, by which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creates suspense in the story is by making the characters give out all the facts “Pray be Precise as to Detail” (page 153) but doesnt give away any clues as to how or why the incident happened.

As an example, when Helen asked about her sister’s death, Sherlock didnt say a word which leads the reader to think of possible causes of death. This engages the reader and also introduces mis-information into the story. The reader would believe someone (ie: the gypsies) or something had caused the death of Helen’s sister. When Conan Doyle writes his stories, he gives them a quick change of atmosphere. A chapetr begins with a relaxed feeling which suddenly becomes tense and fast-paced. An example, is when Sherlock and Watson are waiting in Helen’s room.

The atmosphere is relatively calm and suddenly, Sherlock jumps and starts to thrash about. His style of writing and his attention to detail grabs the readers attention from the very start and holds it until the very end. The reader is taken on a rollercoaster journey ? lled with intrigue and emotion. The story is absorbing and un-put-downable. As is evident, there are many ways in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle very e? ectively creates suspense throughout the story. This is one of the qualities that makes him among one of the most successful and popular authors.

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