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OVERALL ANALYSES - The Hound of the Baskervilles
POINT OF VIEW
This book is told from the point of view of Dr. Watson as a recounting of events, which is fairly typical in the stories of Sherlock Holmes. Since Watson is never in a position when it is uncertain whether he will live or die, having the book written as a reflection does not take away much from the story. In the interests of passing on the suspense that is felt during the case however, nothing is learned by the reader before Watson found it out in the natural course of the case.
By having Watson as a narrator, the story
also preserves readersí respect for Sherlock Holmesís detective skills; it likely
would not seem as impressive to us if, in place of these sudden revelations, we
were instead inside his head. If that were the case, then we would figure things
out gradually and clues would seem as obvious to us as they are to Holmes.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is a Mystery / Suspense novel.
References to real and fictitious facts
Within the book, there are many references to real and fictitious facts. The best example of the latter is the names of cases, those that Frankland is responsible for and those that Holmes cites as worthy of study. There are several examples of the former as well, from the place names to the Remington typewriter, used by Mrs. Lyons. This mixture has the effect of bringing into question some of the possible allusions (as in the connection between the names of John Baskerville and John Clayton), regarding whether they are intentional or mere coincidences. For the most part though, this mention of details, whether they are true or not (it is a fictitious work after all), adds credibility and grounding to the story.
Changes in the narration format
A look at some of the chapter titles will indicate another element, the change in narration format. Though it is Watsonís voice throughout, he relies on his reports and diary entries for parts, rather than his memory. The authorís decision to do this could have been based on a desire to further secure the readerís attention by mixing it up so in the middle of the story, a need to get across a great amount of information and finding this the most efficient way, and/ or to add a degree of realism to the account by quoting documents and providing evidence of Watsonís conveyance of information to Holmes.