This essay is based on the novel the Hound of Baskervilles. It was written by Canon Doyle. I am going to have a discussion about how he built atmosphere and anticipation into the story. Sir Canon Doyle was a very popular author. He was born in 1859 and died in 1930. During his life he did many things although he is mostly remembered for creating the character ‘Sherlock Holmes’. He was a physician and a keen sports player. One of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ most famous quote was ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’.
He was so popular with his readers that when Doyle killed his character off in one of his novels the public protested and he had to bring him back. He also made some other novels like ‘A study in Scarlet’, ‘The sign of the Four’ and ‘The valley of fear? ‘. This novel is so popular because it has the two most famous characters Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was very intelligent, smart and scientific. He was instinctive and eccentric. The story was popular because ‘The legend’ would have appealed to the audience of the time and they believed in the ‘Spiritual’.
In the story the reader is in the same position as the detective because they both don’t know what will happen next. They will always have to work out ‘who dunnit’. One way of creating suspense in the novel is through the use of imagery. Canon Doyle uses imagery to build up tension on the approach to Baskerville Hall. When the team (Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes) arrive at the station near Dartmouth and Baskerville Hall the first thing they see are soldiers. I know this because it says in the text “… y the gate there stood two soldierly men in dark uniforms who leaned upon short rifles and glanced keenly at us as we passed”.
This shows that as soon as the team arrive at the station they see two strong and tough looking men glancing at everyone going past. This is the first sign of something negative on the approach to Baskerville hall because why should there be soldiers at the train station. Especially as the writer uses the words “two soldierly men” and short rifles” this gives a negative aspect to the story.
The way this has been described builds atmosphere into the story and leaves the reader feeling tense. It keeps the reader alert and helps them to suspect that something bad is going to happen. It makes the reader confused and gets the reader thinking what’s going on? Why are there soldiers? Is something going to happen? As well as leaving the reader feeling tense, it makes the story more interesting and appealing, it makes the reader imagine the scene and it also makes them want to read on to see what is awaiting on Baskerville Hall.
When the team come out of the station, they are on their way to the hall when they see the countryside on either side of them and behind the countryside they see the dark moor. I know this because it says in the text, “but behind the peaceful and sunlit countryside there rose ever, dark against the evening sky, the long, gloomy curve of the moor broken by the jagged and sinister hills”. This shows that there is a big difference between the countryside and the moor. It shows that the moor is a dark, gloomy, forbidding and dangerous place and there is no peace or no sunlight in it.
It shows that the rocks on the moor show danger and evil. The fact that the hills of the moor are described as ‘jagged’ suggests danger as this would mean that they are sharp and could potentially cause someone harm. It’s these hills and the moor that is vital to Baskerville Hall, Watson, Sherlock and Sir Henry would be even more scared about the prospect of visiting the Hall. It could also suggest that they did have to flee Baskerville Hall, that the moors they would escape onto wouldn’t help them and would be just as dangerous as the Hall itself.
The way the author has described it makes the story more interesting. It grabs the reader’s attention and makes them imagine what the moor is like and that something might happen at this moor. This makes them feel anxious for the characters on their way to the Hall. While the team are in the car on their way to the hall they are told that there is an escaped convict who has been out for three days and the wardens are watching every road and every station but they can’t see him anywhere. It says in the text, “The wardens watch every road and every station”.
The fact that the wardens are watching every road and every station suggests danger. It shows that the wardens are watching every step you make and everyone and everything and it’s hard for them to miss you. The way the writer has illustrated this makes the story mysterious. It suggests a sort of threatening atmosphere. It builds up tension in the readers mind and leaves them panicking for the characters because an escaped convict who is a dangerous killer is on the loose and even though he is being looked for everywhere he is no where to be seen so this means that the team are in danger.
This definitely suggests something bad because first of all they see soldiers, then the moor and now they have found out that there is a dangerous killer on the loose. What if this killer is on the moor? This means that the characters in the story are in great danger. At this point the reader will be full of tension and will be eager to read on to see what is going to happen next. The moor is described as being a huge, looming and rocky. I know this because it says in the text ‘Our wagonette had topped a rise and in front of us rose the huge expanse of the moor, mottled with gnarled and craggy cairns and tors.
A cold wind swept down from it and set us shivering’. The way this has been described builds up tension into the story because it means that people will be afraid to cross the moor because it is so ‘huge’ and ‘rocky’. This suggests danger because its so big and rocky it can mean that someone might get lost at the moor. Where the author has said ‘A cold wind swept down from it and set us shivering’ means that the weather on the moor is very bad it is rainy and windy this suggests something negative and it also suggests danger.
The surrounding of the moor respects the atmosphere of gloom and doom. It also suggests that the moor is a major part of this story because the escaped convict Seldon is on this moor. The use of language that is used to describe the moor emphasises that it has a main part in the story. Also the structure of the sentences starts to lengthen as the story reaches to the part of describing the moor, this shows that there is a lot to say and worn about the moor. When the author is explaining the moor he uses a lot of commas to add information and build up the imagination of the reader.
For example when he says, ‘… but behind the peaceful and sunlit countryside there rose ever, dark against the evening sky, the long, gloomy curve of the moor, broken by jagged and sinister hills. ‘ This also makes the text sound more interesting to read by attracting the reader’s attention. The way the author, Doyle, describes the moor makes it seem like a mysterious, unapproachable, horrifying and upsetting place. It shows that if some one even goes near the moor, they will be in great danger.
On their way to Baskerville Hall the characters are told about the escaped convict Selden. This is very important because this introduces even more potential danger to Baskerville Hall. The convict Selden is described as being an evil, murderous and a ‘fiendish’ criminal. He murdered his parents at the age of sixteen and was put into prison. He has escaped from prison and is alone on the moors. Throughout the text Seldon is described as the ‘convict’. This adds tension to the visit to Baskerville Hall because he is a dangerous killer.
Continuing from the description of the moor it says in the text, ‘Somewhere there, on that desolate plain, was lurking this fiendish man, lurking in a burrow like a wild beast, his heart full of evil against the whole race who had cast him out’. This shows that he is a hideous and horrible man who is waiting to pounce. The author uses the simile ‘like a wild beast’ to compare Selden to an animal this shows that he is very vicious. In the text it says ‘This is a man that would stick at anything’ this reinforces that he is so dangerous he would do anything.
Because of the way the author has illustrated Selden throughout the text such as ‘the Notting Hill murderer’ builds up atmosphere and tension into the novel. It attracts the reader’s attention and makes the novel seem more interesting and appealing because now the characters have something else to content with, The Legend of the hound and the escaped Selden, either of which are both possibilities for committing the crime they have to solve. The author uses many similes and descriptive words throughout the text to describe Selden and the moor. This attracts the reader’s attention and makes the novel more fascinating and appealing.
It makes the reader imagine what Selden and the moor look like being as the novel was published in parts. It builds more atmosphere, tension and suspense in the approach to Baskerville hall. It leaves the reader feeling tense and terrified because there is a dangerous killer on the moor and makes them want to read on to see if Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes are going to get involved or if they are going to anything about it after they arrive at Baskerville hall. In this paragraph I am going to talk about how the author describes Baskerville Hall to further increase the sense of foreboding, danger and evil.
Baskerville Hall is described as having ‘black granite’ this creates a dark, sombre image of the house. It also suggests death and mystery. Baskerville hall is tough, well built and it stands out. I know this because it says in the text ‘In the fading light I could see that the centre was a heavy block of building from which a porch projected’. The way this has been described makes it interesting and it builds pictures into the reader’s head of the light shining on a ‘heavy block of building’. The words ‘heavy block’ suggests that it is strong.
In the text it says ‘A dull light shone through heavy windows’ this suggests an unwelcoming to the house. ‘Heavy windows’ shows that as well as the building be ‘heavy’ itself the windows are also ‘heavy’. It also says in the text ‘… from the high chimneys which rose from the steep, high-angled roof there sprang a single black column of smoke’. ‘High chimneys’ and ‘high-angled roof’ shows that Baskerville hall is tall. Where is says ‘column of smoke’ suggests death, mystery. Overall the author has illustrated Baskerville hall as dark, dangerous and mysterious.
It also suggests a sign of death. The way Baskerville hall has been described builds atmosphere, tension and suspense into the novel and increases the sense of foreboding, danger and evil as the Hall itself appears evil and dark, almost like it is hiding something with its ‘dark veil’. Conclusion After reading this part of the novel I think that the saying ‘gloom and doom’ is the right way to describe the mood of this novel. Baskerville Hall seems like a depressing place from the start and the moor also suggests little to fight those feelings.
The use of language that the writer has used and the way he sets out the environment creates a great deal of tension into the story. The writer also uses a lot of descriptive words and some similes to describe Seldon and the moor. I feel as though Baskerville hall is an inevitable evil and dangerous place. The author has used a lot of descriptive words and some similes to describe Selden and the moor. I can imagine that Selden looks like an evil man who’s tall, well built and never smiles. I can imagine the moor, looking mysterious, scary and craggy.
In general, Canon Doyle has built up the approach to Baskerville Hall so much that by the end of the chapter the reader is convinced that something bad will happen. I am are anxious to read on by buy the next chapter. The moor is a major part of the novel and I think that in the next part of the novel someone might have to approach the moor in order to save someone’s life. I have found this part of the novel very interesting and fascinating it has made me feel very tense for the characters on their visit to the hall and I want to read on to see what happen next.