The Speckled Band SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR • Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May, 22 1859 in the United Kingdom and died July, 7 1930. • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a Scottish writer and physician, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction NARRATOR • The Speckled Band is narrated in the first person, narrative style. • It is written in the point of view of Doctor Watson SETTING • The setting, initially, is in London. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson live on Baker Street in London. Helen Stoner travelled into London to see them. • The actual crime was in Surry, England at Stoke Moran. SUBJECT • Helen Stoner visits Holmes and Watson to seek their advice on her sister’s murder. • After hearing her story about her soon to be wed sister being murdered, they go with Helen to her house where her sister died. • They arrange for Helen to spend the night in another room whilst they sneak into her current bedroom. This is all taking place without Doctor Roylott’s knowledge. • They hear the whistle and see that Julia’s last words ‘the speckled band’ were referring to a ‘swamp adder, the deadliest snake in India’. • Holmes attacks the snake with a walking stick and the snake is sent back to Doctor Roylott’s room, where it injects its venom into the murderous physician and he dies. THEME • Violence does recoil upon the violent, meaning that you cannot act violently without violence coming to you. • The schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another. • Never jump to conclusions. CHARACTERS • Sherlock Holmes – Flat – PROTAGONIST He is the detective investigating the crime of the story. He notices very small details that he is able to draw conclusions from and those lead his investigations. He is a perfect gentleman to Miss Stoner in her time of need. • Doctor Watson- Flat A good friend of Holmes, He is also a kind, brave and loyal medical man. They investigate cases together. They also live in the same apartment in Baker street. Together Holmes and Watson make a great team. CHARACTERS • Miss Helen Stoner – Round Sherlock Holmes client and the stepdaughter of Dr Grimesby Roylott. She is about 30 years old and lost her twin sister, Julia, to a tragic, unexplainable accident. This is the reason for her seeking the help of Holmes. • Dr Grimesby Roylott – Round - ANTAGONIST Final heir of an old Anglo-Saxon family, who is a vicious, violent old man and stepfather of Helen stoner. His big house is heavily mortgaged. He would be ruined if he had to pay Helen 250 pounds a year out of his total annual income of 750 pounds. He murdered Julia for the same reason he intends to murder Helen. CHARACTERS • Mrs Hudson The housekeeper for Holmes and Watson. She woke Holmes up to inform him that the had a visitor: Ms Helen Stoner. • Julia Stoner The deceased, twin sister of Helen. She died in a tragic, unexplainable accident 2 weeks before she was to be married. Julia and Helen were extremely close. EXPOSITION • The story starts with Holmes standing next to Doctor Watson’s bed to awake him at 7.15. • Sherlock advises Watson that Mrs Hudson woke him up to inform him that someone has paid them a visit and needs their assistance. RISING ACTION/DEVELOPMENT • That person is a woman named Helen Stoner and she tells her entire story to Holmes and Watson about her sister’s death and how she now fears for her own life. • Dr Roylott comes to Holmes and Watson’s residence and threatens them physically if they continue investigating. • Holmes and Watson make their way to Stoke Moran, look around the house while Dr Roylott is away and make their way back into the house later that night to investigate further. CLIMAX This is where Holmes discovers the snake coming through the ventilator into Helen Stoner’s bedroom. He then proceeds to strike the snake with his walking stick and sends it back through the ventilator. FALLING ACTION • The falling action is the ‘Speckled Band’ is found to be the poisonous swamp adder that kills Doctor Roylott instead of Helen, who it was intended to kill. RESOLUTION • This is when Holmes explains that he realized a few things: 1) He realized that certain elements that he investigated were false leads (when they are suspicious of the gipsies because they wear speckled head gear) 2) He also realizes that it was him that caused the snake to bite Dr Roylott (when he waved it off with his walking stick). It aggravated the snake and thus it attacked and killed Dr Roylott. He was the reason why Dr Roylott was dead. He was not sorry about it either.