I think they use this language because they are middle classed with that up bringing. This is a contrast to the language of the land lord in “The veiled lodger” she has a lower class vocabulary examples of this language is “she is that anxious” and examples of the middle class language is spoken by Holmes when ever he specks some words like “alias” make the stories difficult to understand. Another way that you can tell that the stories are pre 20th is that the stories are dated for example “The veiled lodger” is dated 1896. they also travel in older methods such as a horse and carriage or dog cart in “The Speckled Band”.
Some of the ways that modern English language describes things is also different even thought we still use some the words. for example ” smoke-laden” modern English still use smoke and rarely use laden but we still know what is meant by the phase but we would now say “Smokey”. I think that one of the reasons why these words and phases are not used is because the class system is no longer in use. So the language has merged into one. The sentences used are a lot longer and more complexed, this make the reader read at a faster pace.
The author uses more descriptive words which creates images in the readers mind, getting them involved in the story and making them want to carry on reading. The main images created are those of the characters and the events which are taking place, for example the description of Render as having a “dreadful face” and of Holmes “darting” forward in “The Speckled Band”. The reason why there is such good description is because Holmes is renowned for observing details and explores everything in full depth, for example in “The Speckled Band” where he explains his logic for his findings.
Some of the description is used to portray attacks or deaths in the stories. An example is the violent deaths in “The Speckled Band” where words like “shrieked” and “terrible cry” are used to make the scene very pictorial. The lion attack on Mrs. Render also creates a vivid image as it too uses descriptive words for example “slain” and “great steaming blood stained jaws”. Tension is created by the language used for example “shrieked”, “terrible cry” these create images in the readers minds and they become involved in the stories and want to know what happens to the characters.
Another way tension is created is by the use of red herrings, such as when Holmes and Watson believe that Dr. Royllot is chasing them but it turns out to be a baboon. Also not knowing what is happening creates tension for example when Watson and Holmes are waiting in Helens room in “The Speckled Band”. The reader and Watson don’t what they are waiting for and are sitting in the dark room, not talking and with a gun on the side, Watson is unaware that they are waiting for Indies most deadly snake.
In “The veiled lodger” there is a lot of talk about the appearance of Mrs. Render for instance the “milkman gets a glimpse of her once” ” and he drops his tin of milk”. The fact that Mrs. Merilow, the landlord of where Mrs. Render now lives has only scene her face once in seven years and she wishes she had not. When Mr. Watson and Holmes enter the room it is described as a “musty, ill ventilated place”. The room has a certain amount of irony in it, as the circus keeper is know the caged one.
The objects in the room are all in disrepair and seems that the room has been neglected for a long time. Watson is important to this story because he is the one that lets the reader know what is happening. Holmes keeps is theories to himself and the reader only finds them out when Watson ask questions. The structure of the stories are all similar because they come from the same source, Watson’s diaries. We only know what Watson knows, which means that we only find out exactly what happens at the end of the investigations when Holmes tells him.
The stories all start differently for example “The veiled lodger” starts with Holmes being invited to hear the story of the Renders where as “The silver blaze” and “The Speckled Band” start with the victims contacting Holmes and Watson, in “The Speckled Band” Helen comes to Holmes and in “The silver blaze” the story starts straight away with Holmes saying he has to go to Dartmoor. All the stories end with Holmes explaining what happened and in the middle of “The silver blaze” and “The Speckled Band” Holmes is investigating the crimes.
But in “The veiled lodger” Holmes is told the true story in parts. First we are told who is dead, then we have Holmes description of what he thought happened and finally we get Mrs. Render telling us her plan and the outcome. In all three stories the conversation is between Holmes and the victims. In “The Speckled Band” Dr. Royllot will start a conversation but Holmes will not comment on it but on something such as the weather. When Helen comes to find Holmes, he shows his powers of deduction by explaining how she arrived.
This could be to show the reader that Holmes is able to take something as oblivious as mud splatters on Helens coat and tell that she travelled by dog cart sat by the driver. A little of this intelligence can be seen in Helen, for she notice that she could hear the same noises as her sister did before her death and figured out that this may be linked it. “The Speckled Band” and “The silver blaze” are detective stories where as “The veiled lodger” is a unusual case where Holmes is being the events which took place, rather than him finding them out.
In the stories there is a element of Victorian melodrama, they where written to stir the readers emotion, for instance make the reader horrified by the description of the murder weapons, the deadliest snake in India. Poisons were a big murder weapon in the Victorian times as they were almost undetectable, the only way you could find out is if you tested it on another. The stories also have gothical elements to them as in “The Speckled Band” the setting is a big, dark run down castle.
The unpredictable characters in the story, for example the gypsies, create a certain gothic effect as we don’t know much about them. The whistling sound in the tale adds to the effect because we don’t know the source which gives the reader the impression that it could be something super natural. These stories are set in the Victorian period at this time prostitutes, drug abuse and murder were come place, this caused many people to live in poverty. They lived in cramped, dark, damp condition. The thick smog from the factories polluted the air making it an event worse place to live.
There was no electrical light and places where light by gas lights which flickered and created eerie shadows. If the reader is aware of this history there is an added effect to the story which would get them more involved. The police at this time were disliked because they seemed to be doing nothing to fight crime and some were even found to have been corrupt. With murderers like Jack the Ripper around and not being court many Victorians lived in fear. This maybe why Sherlock Holmes stories where so popular, everyone liked him as he away court the criminals.
The stories could have been reflecting real life situation and therefore people could relate to them and the characters. The roles of women at this time were defined by men, when a woman was not married her father had control of her money and property and when she got married this control was passed onto the husband. A woman never had the right that men had, for instance a woman could not divorce her husband because she would become a social outcast, even with friends and family. Holmes however treats Mrs.
Render as an equal, the only time he seems superior is when he guess she wishes to committee suicide. When Holmes encounters Dr. Royllot he act in a totally opposite manor, he aggravates Dr. Royllot by speaking politely. Holmes could have done this because he dislikes Dr. Royllot’s attitude towards woman. It seems that the author shares Holmes views and is using the character Holmes to voice his opinion on the bad treatment of women at this time. Out of the three short stories I personally prefer “The Speckled Band” because it is a on going investigation and has more suspense and tension to it.
The reader does not know whether Helen will survive where as in “The veiled lodger” we know the outcome at the beginning. The story of “The Speckled Band” is to me more involving than “The silver blaze”, as in this story we are kept in the dark about the investigation and what Holmes is finding out until the end when he reveals all. 1 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one? Search for