The Hound of the Baskervilles is a “Sherlock Holmes” novel written by his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a popular detective and Gothic fiction novel. The Novel was Published in 1902. It is the story of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal friend Dr. John Watson. They investigate the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville. It is also about a ghostly dog that has haunted the Baskerville family for hundreds of years. a
The story revolves around the curse that haunts the Baskerville family and the investigation conducted by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson to unravel the mystery. The novel is filled with suspense, mystery, and atmospheric settings that add to the overall sense of foreboding. Doyle use of skillful red herrings, false leads, and unexpected twists. Conan Doyle keeps readers engaged until the thrilling conclusion. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” remains a beloved classic in the detective fiction genre.
About Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a Scottish author and physician, best known for creating the iconic world-famous character of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle’s works have had a significant influence on the detective fiction genre, and his writing style is characterized by keen observation, logical deduction, and vivid descriptions of settings and characters.
His notable works are The Hound of The Baskervilles, The Sign of The Four, A Study in Scarlet, The Adventures of Sherlock Homes, “Stories of Sherlock Holmes” and “The Lost World”. His writing Genres are Detective Fiction, Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and Historical Novels.
The Hound of The Baskervilles As A Detective Fiction
The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the most famous and influential works of detective fiction ever written. The novel features the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend Dr. John Watson as they investigate a mysterious death and the legend of a monstrous hound that haunts the Baskerville family.
The novel combines elements of the detective genre that is creating a thrilling and suspenseful story that keeps the reader guessing until the end. The detective genre is characterized by a plot that revolves around a crime, usually a murder, that is solved by a clever and rational detective using clues and logic.
The novel delves into the impact of family curses and legacies. The Baskervilles are haunted by a curse that has been passed down through generations, and the characters struggle with their family history and the expectations placed upon them. It shows the character of Sir Henry, who must confront his family’s dark past and come to terms with his inheritance.
As the investigation progresses, the novel masterfully builds suspense through vivid descriptions of the wild and desolate moorland, creating a Dreadful atmosphere. The characters of Sir Henry Baskerville, the last surviving heir of the Baskerville estate. Jack Stapleton, a suspicious neighbor, is introduced, adding complexity to the mystery. Holmes’s keen observation skills and deductive reasoning are showcased as he unravels the clues and evidence.
Sherlock Holmes detect the real crime reason that was Jack Stapleton who planned to kill everyone on mysteriously Baskervilles estate’s member with the help of a trained hound.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is a masterpiece of detective fiction that demonstrates how Arthur Conan Doyle skillfully blended detective and gothic genres to create a captivating and memorable story. It also showcases how Sherlock Holmes is one of the most brilliant and charismatic detectives in literature, who can solve any case with his logic and wit.
Narrative Technique Of The Novel
The novel employs various narrative techniques to create a captivating and atmospheric story that explores rationalism versus superstition, nature versus civilization, and family inheritance.
One of the main narrative techniques used in the novel is the first-person narration by Dr. Watson, Holmes’s loyal friend, and assistant. Watson acts as a narrator who reports the events of the story to the reader, as well as a character who participates in the action and interacts with other characters. Watson’s narration allows the reader to follow his perspective and share his curiosity, confusion, and admiration for Holmes.
Watson also serves as a contrast to Holmes, highlighting the latter’s superior intellect and skills. For example, in Chapter 3, Watson is amazed by Holmes’s ability to deduce that Dr. Mortimer has a dog from his walking stick, while Watson himself could not notice any clues on the stick. Watson’s narration also creates suspense and mystery by withholding some information from the reader until Holmes reveals it at the end. For example, in Chapter 12, Watson does not know that Holmes has been secretly investigating the case on the moor until he sees him disguised as an old man.
Another narrative technique used in the novel is the use of Gothic elements to create a dark and dreadful setting that enhances the mood and theme of the story. The novel is set in Dartmoor, a remote and desolate region of England that is known for its wild and rugged landscape. The moor is described as a place of danger and mystery, where supernatural forces seem to lurk.
For example, in Chapter 6, Watson describes his first impression of the moor: “Over the green squares of fields and low curves of woods there rose in the distance a grey melancholy hill with a strange jagged summit dim and vague in the distance like some fantastic landscape in a dream.”
The moor is also associated with the legend of the hound of the Baskervilles, a monstrous creature that is said to haunt and kill the members of the Baskerville family. The hound represents the Gothic element of horror and terror that challenges the rational and scientific approach of Holmes. The novel also uses other Gothic elements such as an ancestral curse, a ruined abbey, a mysterious portrait, and a villainous schemer.
A third narrative technique used in the novel is the use of red herrings to mislead and confuse both Watson and the reader. Red herrings are false clues or suspects that divert attention from the real solution. The novel contains several red herrings that make the case more complicated and interesting. For example, one red herring is Barrymore, the servant of Baskerville Hall, who acts suspiciously and secretly at night.
Watson initially suspects that he might be involved in Sir Charles’s death or Sir Henry’s danger. However, it turns out that Barrymore is actually helping his wife’s brother escape from prison. Another red herring is Stapleton’s wife Beryl, who appears to be his sister at first. Watson thinks that she might be an accomplice or a victim of Stapleton’s plot. However, it turns out that she is actually his wife who was forced to help him by pretending to be his sister.
These narrative techniques make The Hound of the Baskervilles an engaging and memorable work of detective fiction that showcases Conan Doyle’s mastery of storytelling and character creation.
Summary And Analysis Of The Hound of The Baskervilles
Dr. Mortimer and the new heir to the Baskerville title come to London to hire Sherlock Holmes to investigate a suspicious murder. Their concerns are based on a generations-old legend about the family and Hall that includes a curse of a supernatural hound. Mortimer suspects that Sir Charles was frightened to death by the horror hound, and asks Holmes to help protect his heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, who has just arrived from Canada. The doctor has suspicions that the hound is real but needs the efforts of a detective to look into the possibility.
Holmes agrees to take the case, but he is too busy with other matters to go to Dartmoor himself. He sends Dr. John Watson instead, with instructions to observe and report everything that happens there. Watson meets Sir Henry and accompanies him to Baskerville Hall, where they encounter a number of suspicious characters and events. They also hear the terrifying howl of the hound at night and see a mysterious figure lurking on the moor.
Meanwhile, Holmes secretly follows them to Dartmoor and conducts his own investigation. He reveals himself to Watson and tells him that he has discovered the identity of the culprit behind the murder of Sir Charles and the plot against Sir Henry. It is none other than Jack Stapleton, a neighbour who is actually a distant relative of the Baskervilles. He has trained a ferocious dog to look like the legendary hound and has used it to scare and kill his relatives in order to inherit their fortune. He also has an accomplice, his sister Beryl, who is actually his wife.
As the investigation progresses, Holmes and Watson uncover the truth behind the mystery of the Baskerville curse and the monstrous hound. Stapleton is revealed to be the culprit, using the legend of the hound to cover up his crimes.
Holmes and Watson manage to save Sir Henry from being attacked by the hound and confront Stapleton at his house. Stapleton escapes into the moor, where he is presumably killed by his own hound or by sinking into a bog. Beryl is rescued and confesses everything to Holmes and Watson. The novel ends with Holmes explaining how he solved the mystery using his powers of observation and deduction.
The novel explores the contrast between superstition and science. The belief in the supernatural ghostly hound and the curse that haunts the Baskerville family is contrasted with Holmes’ rational and logical approach to solving the mystery. Doyle challenges the prevalent beliefs of the time and highlights the power of reason and science in solving mysteries.
The novel also reflects the societal and cultural norms of the Victorian era. The stark contrast between the wild and untamed moorland and the civilized world of Victorian England is portrayed through the setting and characters. The characters’ actions and beliefs are influenced by the social structure and expectations of the time, providing insights into the social and cultural context of the era.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is a masterpiece of detective fiction that showcases Arthur Canon Doyle‘s skillful storytelling, unique narrative technique, and rich analysis of various themes. The novel challenges superstition with reason explores the impact of family curses and legacies, and reflects the societal norms of the Victorian era.
The novel showcases Doyle’s masterful intricate plot, and vivid descriptions of the moorlands, which create a sense of atmosphere and suspense. The characters, particularly Holmes and Watson, are well-drawn and showcase the dynamics of their unique partnership. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” is a captivating tale of mystery, intrigue, and detective work.
The novel shows the power of superstition and legend, the impact of inheritance and family legacy, and the triumph of reason and logic over fear and deception. It also highlights the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the characters, as they navigate the complexities of human nature and the consequences of their actions. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” is a timeless classic that shows us its intriguing plot, memorable characters, and rich themes.