Sherlock Holmes: “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” By Arthur Conan Doyle Frame Story • “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” is a frame story, meaning a “story within a story.” • Who is narrating the story? At what point in the plot do we find out? Opening Sentence On glancing over my notes of the seventy odd cases in which I have during the last eight years studied the methods of my friend Sherlock Holmes, I find many tragic, some comic, a large number merely strange, but none commonplace; for, working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the acquirement of wealth, he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual, and even the fantastic. Baker Street Mysteries and “The Truth” • What do we readers do as we read mysteries? • Watson: “It is perhaps as well that the facts should now come to light, for I have reasons to know that there are widespread rumors as to the death of Dr. Grimesby Roylott which tend to make the matter even more terrible than the truth.” What is the specific purpose of this passage? What do we know from the beginning? How does this passage connect to the BQ? Foreshadowing: Hints or clues as to what will happen later in a narrative. What do we know will happen? In a mystery, clues are used as foreshadowing to help readers solve the mystery. Description of Sherlock Holmes I had no keener pleasure than in following Holmes in his professional investigations, and in admiring the rapid deductions, as swift intuitions, and yet always founded on a logical basis, with which he unraveled the problems which were submitted to him. -duc- “to lead” or “bring” What does deductions most likely mean? Exposition • What woman comes looking for help? She raised her veil as she spoke, and we could see that she was indeed in a pitiable state of agitation, her face all drawn and gray, with restless, frightened eyes, like those of some hunted animal. What is the mood of this passage? • How does Holmes deduce that she road a dogcart (horse-drawn carriage)? Flashback • A scene set earlier in time than the main story. • What do we discover in Helen Stoner’s flashback? What do we know about the stepfather? • He got a medical degree to pay for ________. • He went to prison because he beat up his ______. • He married Miss Stoner’s mother, who had a lot of __________. • After his wife died, he was known for ______ with people who crossed paths with him. • What does Doyle most likely want us to think of Dr. Roylott? What mystery term might be used to describe him? Prime Suspect? • “He is a man of immense strength, and absolutely uncontrollable in his anger.” • His only friends are the wandering ______. • He has a passion for Indian animals; he has a _______ and a _______ on the estate now. Julia, the Victim • She died ____ years ago. • She was about to get ______. • She would get _______ when she got married. • Her bedroom was between _______’s and _______’s. • She complained of hearing _______ in the night. • Helen heard a ______ sound when she rushed to her sister’s bedroom the night of her death. Mood? Clues? By the light of the corridor lamp I saw my sister appear at the opening, her face blanched with terror, her hands groping for help, her whole figure swaying to and fro like that of a drunkard. I ran to her and threw my arms round her…She writhed as one in terrible pain, and her limbs were dreadfully convulsed… “Oh Helen! It was the band! The speckled band!” …She stabbed with her finger in the direction of the doctor’s room… Clues • The coroner ruled out violence, because she was definitely ______ in the room. • He also ruled out _______, because it was not found in her system. • Helen thinks that the “speckled band” could refer to the _________ the gypsies wore. • Most clues seem to be point to whom? Helen’s Fear • She is about to be ________. • She is now sleeping in ________’s room. • She heard a low __________ sound. • There are fingerprint _______ on her hand from her _______. Who/what does she fear? What would be the motive? The Holmes “Wit”…Purpose? “I am Dr. Grimesby Roylott, of Stoke Moran.” “Indeed, Doctor,” said Holmes blandly. “Pray take a seat.” “I will do nothing of the kind. My stepdaughter has been here. I have traced her. What has she been saying to you?” “It is a little cold for the time of the year,” said Holmes. “What has she been saying to you?” screamed the old man furiously. “But I have heard the crocuses promise well,” continued my companion. Before We Read: Dialogue Review, Type 2 • Turn to page 138 in your textbook. • Study the image: What mood do you experience based on details you see? • Create a short conversation among the 3 characters, setting us up for what we are about to read. • You will be assessed on your ability to convey appropriate content and your ability to punctuate correctly. BONUS points! After You Read How does Doyle use mood to achieve his purpose in “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”? Use examples of mood, and be sure to state clearly the author’s purpose. USE THE TERMS!
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