People, who are fond of detective stories are usually interests in classical works of such literature. One of the best and most famous detective stories The Hound of the Baskervilles created by the founder of this genre, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, could be also called a masterpiece of mystical detective literature. The plot centers around an old family legend and the scene, which is laid in Victorian England underlines the mystery of the situation described in a novel.
At this time, a legendary private investigator Sherlock Holmes and his helper Dr. Watson face the challenge of the investigation of the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville, who was scared to death by a gigantic beast. This situation completely illustrates the family legend of a mystical dog who kills the representatives of Baskerville kin.
According to this legend told by Sir Charles friend, an heir of a dead old man, Sir Henry is also in danger. Because of this, Watson accompanied a young Baskerville to his family mansion called Baskerville Hall. This case became Dr. Watsons first experience in the investigation on his own. While Watson tries to work without a help of his famous friend, Holmes follows all the participants of the next events and draw a conclusion. So, to represent this experience the author wrote his novel as a first-person narration from the point of view of John H. Watson, whose reports to Sherlock Holmes and fragments of the personal diary was used to convey a Watsons vision of the situation and the logic of his actions.
When the investigation came to an end and the murderer was denounced, Sherlock Holmes explained how he found out that Baskervilles neighbor called Stapleton put on a family legend using a trained dog to kill Sir Charles and tried to murder Sir Henry in desire to seize the Baskervilles wealth because of his being a lawful heir, unknown member Baskerville family.
So, the major themes of this book are human covetousness and the inheritance which usually makes the family secrets public. Arthur Conan Doyle shows these themes through Stapletons story. The man tried to make a big trick, but the detectives found out the truth. When attended by Inspector Lestrade, they tried to arrest Stapleton, the murderer running away drowned in a swamp. This situation represents the other theme of the novel nobody can run away from the justice. And it could overtake you in various forms.
Over the whole story, till Sherlock Holmes describes of the crime at the end, the reader tries to find out the logical explanation of the mystery. And Conan Doyles writing technique creates an atmosphere of mysticism and make the reader wait for other odd events. So, to achieve this effect, the novel was written according to the Gothic tradition. The author emphasizes the mystery of Baskervilles family legend with the realistic descriptions of the settings such as Baskerville Hall an old mansion surrounded by a swamp. Arthur Conan Doyle also underlines the darkness and mystery of the place portraying the gloomy rainy weather. The brightest of the Gothic elements in this story is used at the end of it. Explaining Watson how he understood that Stapleton is really Baskerville; Sherlock Holmes shows his friend a portrait of a Baskervilles ancestor. A painted Hugo Baskerville is described according to the Gothic traditions.
Thus, this masterpiece of a mystery detective genre absorbs the readers by the dark mystery of this story. The cold logic of the detective stories combines with the gothic mysticism, making the plot unpredictable so that the reader could not guess who is the murderer and what is the nature of the mystical hound. Therefore, this book may be recommended to people who is fond of mystical stories and to persons who like to read one story twice or even more times. The re-reading of this story in different periods of a lifetime show the person new aspects of the story and give the other philosophical meaning of it.
Conan Doyle, Arthur. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. N.p., n.d. Project Gutenberg. Web. 17 Dec. 2012. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2852/2852-h/2852-h.htm>.
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