Why does Sherlock Holmes still appeal to modern day readers such as the Speckled Band.
How does ‘The Speckled Band’ still appeal to modern readers?
Crime fiction appeals to modern day readers just as much now as it did in 1887. This was when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes and there was a huge fascination with crime and death. Another reason why these novels still appeals to modern day readers is because the reader gets a great satisfaction if they can solve the mystery before the detective, in this case being Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based this fictional character of a man called Eugene Francias Vidoq, he started off as a criminal and when he was let out of jail he became a police informer. There was a new police force called the ‘Sûrete’, he introduced many items to the police force including the ballistic knife. He left the ‘Sûrete’ and he set up the first private investor agency.
Sherlock Holmes is a very unique character because he is very skilled in many ways because he has studied many different subjects such as in the novel ‘The red headed league’ he has studied Chinese tattoos. He also studied many different types on science. His skill can be done by process of elimination or simply his pure genius. His relationship with Dr Watson is very strong such as when Holmes says ‘your life may depend on your compliance’ so Dr Watson must trust Sherlock Holmes because he has been put in a situation by his friend where he could be killed. Holmes can always solve any mystery. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a very good writer because he will never reveal Sherlock’s thoughts on who the suspect is until the case is solved, this keeps the reader always wanting to read on. ‘The idea of a snake instantly occurred to me, and when I coupled it with my knowledge that the doctor was furnished with a supply of creatures from India’, so Holmes knew that the murder weapon was a snake because of his great skill and knowledge, but he didn’t reveal it to the reader because It would ruin the story.
Holmes is a very well-experience detective because Sherlock says ‘I knew that we should find a ventilator before we came to Stoke Moran. The room is having maintenance work to it and he has a good idea of why her room might be having building work even though there seems to be nothing wrong with the room. Many clues are given away when Holmes is inspecting the room such as the bell rope and the bed being clamped to the floor. The reader still shouldn’t know the plot now. A moment that massively grips the reader is where Helen runs out of her room and screams, ‘Oh my god Helen it was the band, the speckled band!’ this throws the reader straight off track because this could mean a band of gypsies that lived on the ground or maybe or a group of cheetahs because they have speckled spots on them. It was also very interesting and appealing the to the reader because it was a closed room mystery where the room was locked so no one could have got in or get out of the room. Holmes inspects the room by getting Helen to bolt up the doors and the windows and Sherlock tries to force into the room but fails and assures Helen that no one can get in or out from outside of the house. This heightens the interest of the reader because no one can get in or out.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle builds up a lot of danger in his writing and his characters. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson know of this danger. ‘You have evidently seen more in these rooms than was visible to me.’ Dr Watson is narrating the story so there is obviously more that the reader should know, but they don’t because Sherlock Holmes is thinking this in his head so it is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s skill as a writer to reveal the clues gradually without giving away too many clues to the reader to work out the complete plot. This is why I think that it appeals to modern day readers so much. For me, the most tense point in the story is where Holmes springs from the bed and said ‘You see it Watson?’ because again Sir Arthur Conan Doyle doesn’t reveal all of the clues so the reader is wanting to find out what Holmes has seen, and the he finally finds the dead body of Dr Roylott then the story everything about the plot is revealed.
I think this is so popular because it is such an intriguing mystery and because it is a closed room mystery so no one can get in or out of the house. Another reason why it appeals to modern day readers is because it starts off with a death and from the phrase ‘Oh Helen! It was the band, the speckled band’ so it could be a murder, people will like this because it will put then on the edge of their seats because another death could strike at any time even to Sherlock Holmes or Dr Watson when they are waiting in the locked room for the mysterious occurrence, the snake.
The new film, ‘A Game of Shadows’ is attracting people to read the books. This is probably one of the best book or Sherlock Holmes films from the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writing. The amount of tension in this novel really grabs your attention and contacts all of your senses even whilst reading the novel, such as when you find out that Holmes has evidently killed Dr Roylott because a chill runs down the spine of the reader because there is a sense of danger and another reason why I think this appeals to modern day readers is because the cases are always very realistic and could happen to any male of female.