How Does Arthur Conan Doyle Create Tension And Suspense In The Speckled Band

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How Does Arthur Conan Doyle Create Tension And Suspense In The Speckled Band

The Speckled Band is just one of the murder mystery stories featuring the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes was not any ordinary detective, he was a detective who was famous for solving murders. In this case Holmes is trying to solve the mystery of the 'Speckled Band'.

Some examples of tension building techniques are dramatic events and in some instances the inclusion of red herrings. Bad weather and night time are also used as a means of building up atmosphere and tension.

The main setting is Dr Roylot's house in the middle of a wild, stormy night. This immediately creates a sense of uneasiness in the readers mind. In his description of
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Conan Doyle uses alliteration to create and build up the tension, a good example is seen when Helen says-

"The dense darkness which surrounds me"

This highlights her sense of confusion and foreboding. The use of the word `dense' shows how strongly she feels this.

Doyle again uses alliteration to create a similar effect when Helen says- "A vague feeling of impending misfortune impressed me."

The word `impending' particularly builds up her sense of fear and disquiet. We sense a state of unease.

Conan Doyle also uses similes to heighten the tension. One example, which also includes alliteration, is seen on page 180.

Helen says-

"A clanging sound, as if a mass of metal had fallen."

This almost gives the reader a fright. We feel we can hear the crashing sound close by.

The following simile-

"Swaying to and fro like that of a drunkard.

Presents a terrifying picture of the figures movement.

"Metaphors are also used to very good effect by Conan Doyle. On page
182, Holmes interjects Helens narrative with the comment

"These are very deep waters,"

Holmes clearly sees this as a terrible situation and we can sense that he feels the problem is going to be very difficult to solve.

We can see on page 188 good use of a simile when Conan Doyle Describes the two curved wings of the building as "like the claws of a crab" We get a picture in our mind of the front of the building.

The words and phrases that are used in Watson's

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