Farahat engiEng 3950March 12, 2010Tribulations of BaskervilleThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle is a fiction story that revolves around the mysteries of an evil spell that befalls one of the eminent families in Britain, the Baskervilles. In the story, the Baskerville family fights against the perceived supernatural powers that haunt them. However, these supernatural powers are a creation of Sir Charles who makes his family belief that the Baskerville is under a spell. In narrating this story, the author highlights some major themes to deliver his plot such as conflict, superstition, crime, mistrust and dishonesty.
Through these themes, the author warns his audience against excessive trust on one family member to the extent of defying logic and common sense. The story is retold through the narrator, Dr. Watson, from whose eyes and perspective the story is narrated. The author has used this technique to highlight his character and prominent role within the whole story setting. The first person technique allows the author to develop some consistency in the plot and also create a perspective through which the reader can identify with.
Again, this style allows the reader to form some form of relationship and identify with the narrator throughout the story. Ironically, the author warns his author against trusting one family member’s views on certain issues such as superstition and yet narrates the story from the perspective of Dr. Watson alone. The author would have been better off using a neutral perspective. The author has used direct speech in the novel in certain circumstances to allow the audience to develop an opinion on the reasoning of the narrator and some of the characters.
Direct speech in the conversational form in the story allows the audience to actually see the personality of the involved character free from the narrator’s opinion. For instance, the narrator viewed some Britons as just being poor due to laziness. On the other hand, Sir Charles, on his return from South Africa viewed the same people as in need of help to enable them lead a better life. Therefore, through this theme of philanthropy in the works of Sir Charles, the author makes the audience aware that the narrator and other characters such as Sir Hugo had differing opinion on the neediness of other Britons in relation to the Baskerville family.
Conflict as a theme thus arises as these men are not willing to trust Sir Charles’ perception of philanthropy and poverty. Leadership is another theme that the author has highlighted in the novel in capturing the idea of trust. The author depicts Sir Charles as a kind and understanding man who on his return from South Africa engages in improving the lives of the impoverished people by donating some of his resources.
His actions however, do not impress all of his family. Therefore, one person perception of wealth doe not fit all. While Sir Charles viewed wealth as an opportunity to help others in need, Stapleton viewed it as an opportunity to enrich himself by holding on to such. This is also evident from the fact that he was responsible for the collapse of a school he was managing though an outbreak was blamed for the same. However, under conventional wisdom and from history, the audience is likely to perceive embezzlement of funds by Stapleton as the most likely cause of the school’s collapse.
Again, it comes out clear that one man cannot be trusted to run a school without overview.