The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Analyse the literary techniques used by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Chapter 9 of The Hound of the Baskervilles to keep the reader in a state of suspense.

In Chapter 9 of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creates tension and suspense with his use of the following techniques: form and narrative voice; setting; structure; language and narrative style; social and historical setting and literary tradition. This chapter involves a lot of mysteries which keeps the reader interested and intrigued. This chapter is written in epistolary form, in the form of a letter, which creates an intimate and direct tone to his writing. All of his thoughts and feelings are confided to the reader which makes the reader feel more and more involved. He includes everything he gets up to and constantly tries to surprise Holmes with his intellectual knowledge. In the letter, Watson misleads the reader on many occasions by providing false information. An example of this is when Barrymore is at the window in Baskerville Hall and gives a light signal to Mrs. Barrymore’s brother, Selden the escaped convict, to let him know there was food ready for him. However, Watson assumes Barrymore is having an affair and the light is a signal for a secret lover, “It had struck me that it was possible that some love intrigue was on foot. That would have accounted for his stealthy movements and also for the uneasiness of his wife.” When the reader discovers the truth it takes them by surprise which therefore creates suspense. These misleading occasions contribute to the sense of mystery and suspense as it makes the reader feel they are Watson’s dear friend, Holmes, as direct speech has been used which makes them feel closer to the characters and there are also many rhetorical questions used to create the effect of you, as the reader, being asked. The reader also discovers a lot about Watson in this chapter, for...
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