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Analysis of The Hound of the Baskervilles: Bark and Bite

Doyles comprehensive style of writing and consistent development of characters and detail to
the story mold what may be seen as a perfect detective story. By keeping the novel short and
quick paced sets the story for an excellent page turner instead of a lengthy, meticulous detective
story with too many details and action for the reader to follow with. An intriguing protagonist
with a witty personality and abnormal style of analysis of the world around him creates a lead
character with which any reader can easily find interest in. With the addition of a dim-witted
sidekick, Doyle creates a double act with the straight man being the intellectual Sherlock Holmes
and the stooge being Watson. In The Hound of the Baskervilles especially, Doyle is able to
develop both characters equally by giving Watson some time to go to the moor himself instead of
Sherlock leading the investigation. In addition this allows the crime to develop a bit rather than
jumping straight into an analysis of every clue that Sherlock can find. Doyle is able to provide us
with different points of view for both characters that allow for overall better character
development.
(Not added in with thesis but something I noticed and will somehow incorporate later towards
my critique of Doyles writing.) Doyles use of a red herring: Barrymore escaping from the
prison and being an ideal for a candidate as a culprit since he is a wanted convict. However, the
character has no motif for his crimes and thus would not make sense for a culprit.
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As opposed to creating a typical crime scene with some odd factors and clues thrown
into the scene with many possible outcomes and culprits, Doyle decides to instead invoke
supernatural themes such as using a hellhound to pique the readers interest as to how the crime
was really carried out. The use of Gothic themes such the hellhound, an old family curse and the
ominous moor, compared to using a typical scene of the crime scenario gives The Hound of the
Baskervilles much more depth compared to more common detective novels. This is especially
interesting due to the fact that when The Hound of the Baskervilles was written, a majority of the
population was still religious and no advanced technology existed. By invoking this
supernaturalism, it would limit the amount of possibilities a reader could come up with before
reaching the end of the novel where all is explained. Doyles use of the hellhound also exposes
the fact that the real monster in this story is not this hellish hound, but in fact us humans.
Stapletons greed caused him to turn into a monster and cause murder in his bloodline, thus
creating a monster of himself.
Instead of having Sherlock being puzzled immediately at the idea of a supernatural
phenomena being the cause of a crime, he tries to use every logical point of view he has to create
a solution that anyone can comply with. Being an intellectual he relies on facts rather than fiction
and brings darkness into the light for others.

(I have a two things here that piqued my interest while reading this book. I cant pick one, and
despite their not being a very evident thesis statements in these paragraphs Id rather
develop/research one of these ideas more or even combine them rather than just to stick to one
thing. Thanks for the feedback!)
Works Cited
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. Sherlock Holmes The Hound of the Baskervilles. England:
Penguin Books, 1986. Print.