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The Man with Twisted Lip

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In this essay I am going to discuss how Conan Doyle creates suspense in his story. In the 19th century life was extremely difficult. People had been manipulated, especially women, who were the most commonly manipulated characters in the literature of the time. Most women weren’t treated with respect. The law in the 19th century was very different comparing to what it is now. The law now is not so very strict but the police is being treated with full respect, as in the 1800’s the law was very strict and unfair. If there was a problem about male and female, the court will take male side.

The poor people couldn’t never became rich, because it was difficult for them, they been treated very bad and with no respect, most of the poor people had loads of children, so they could send them to work. The rich people were opposite of them, they could afford anything. Conan Doyle uses descriptive language to express the scene that greets Watson ` I found the latch and made my way into a long, low room, thick and heavy with wooden berths, like forecastle of an emigrant ship` this show us that the den was full of people. Conan used a simile, to create suspense and it let the reader imagine, how the place could look like.

The suspense is not so great because the reader gets to find out everything very easily. The opium den was like an `emigrant` ship, suggesting their people could stow away to another country and forget about what has happened in their past. The opium den helped them to forget about all the problems they had, so that was, a way, to escape. Conan Doyle also uses alliteration, ` until we were flying across a broad balustrade bridge, with the murky river flowing sluggishly` this might been used to show how bright the English language was in the 19th century, the words made the bridge sound strong.

The language that Holmes uses makes him sound powerful, strong, and important, `Oh, a trusty comrade is always of use`. This suggests Holmes as being from the upper class, the tone that he uses was very powerful, and dominant of the other people. The words `trusty comrade` could mean a trustful friend, that’s how Holmes treats Watson, he could tell him everything and believe in him. The relationship between Watson and Holmes is very good, because both of them works as a team, Watson listen very carefully every word, which Holmes says. Watson shows full respects to Holmes.

The introducing of the opium den is very scary and district `I passed down the steps, worn hollow in the centre by the ceaseless tread of drunken feet`. This shows many people had walk in inside of it and has revealed it already. The `drunken feet` is like when you are drunk or on opium use, you aren’t really able to control yourself. The opium den is full of people that are addicted to opium or people with problems. Nobody would ever assume that rich people could have so many problems, because they have family, money, houses and many more luxuries that they always wanted to have, and they still came to opium den.

Anyone who had entered in the opium den had a bed and anything else that was needed. Watson sees the villa as very rich and positive place, `A large and comfortable double-bedded room had been placed at our disposal` this suggest that the room was very rich, however Holmes looked very poor, because he was seen as the opium den. Conan Doyle had created suspense to the readers, because they start to wonder how they afforded a house that looked like this, as well as they could wonder why does St. Clair need such a large house for only him and his wife. The villa was an impressive place; it was a place from you could only dream of. We had pulled up in front of a large villa which stood within its own grounds`.

The villa was a magical place, and it was clean in contrast to the dirty opium den. The villa was a private place where not many people could enter inside, but in the opium den any person with money could enter so it was a relatively public place. The `private place` increase the tension because it seen to be empty, and more things could be able to happened, such as killing, and others things. The villa was on its own ground, because it had a large amount of land around it, and it could have been built by St Clair.

When someone went with a visit it didn’t stay over, so he didn’t get any bed or new clothes. The buildings are like the personalities of Watson and Holmes, Watson is more private and Holmes is very bossy and strong. The Opium den suits Holmes, because he had already tried to use opium, and Watson is a quiet person that just follows Holmes, so he therefore suit the villa environment. The novel is structured as a typical `whodunit` which means it a mystery and it make us try to work out who did it, this creates a suspense because the people are being uncertainty and unsure.

The uses of clever red herrings add to structure, a red herring is when a clue turns incorrect. A reader could think that he had got the right answer but everything’s turn out a different way, he get trick. An example of a red herring is when ` On examination traces of blood were to be seen upon the windows sill, and several scattered drops were visible upon the wooden floor of the bedroom` this creates a suspense because the reader starts to think must have happened to one of the characters (Mr. Neville St. Clair), for example he could get killed, many ideas could come up to the readers head, but at the end of the story everything gets explained and we get tricked.

In my opinion the suspense is very important in a mystery because the reader needs to keep on reading, otherwise the story is going to be boring, and nobody would like to read it. The title also creates suspense because everybody wants to find out who is the man with the twisted lip. Conan Doyle made the suspense in the story very successful, because he keeps us in an unknown situation, in which nobody could work out the ending of the story.

The short story is great, but I didn’t like the way it was set out. Conan Doyle kept as in a suspense form the being of the story; it was very hard to work out how the story would end up, that was very good of him because he makes the readers carry on reading, because we want to find out what happens next. I didn’t like the way how Holmes was trying to working out the whole story, because his person itself was taking opium, and as he was a detective that should had happened.

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