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STUDY QUESTIONS / ESSAY TOPICS / BOOK REPORT IDEAS
1. Sherlock Holmes stories took on a life larger than even their author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wanted. He even tried to kill off the great detective, but had to bring him back by popular demand. Discuss how the idea of creations becoming greater than their creators plays a part in literature in this and other works, such as Frankenstein.
2. Compare and contrast The Hound of the Baskervilles with other mystery/ suspense novels and works, such as Poe’s poems, television’s
Monk, and Hitchcock’s movies.
3. How do elements other than plot (diction, symbols, point of view, etc.) contribute to the effectiveness of the story?
4. Explain how the real world-aspects of Doyle’s life, events of the time, accurate details-entered the novel and what they contribute to it.
5. Holmes and Watson can be seen as the epitome of the crime-fighting duo. Discuss the way in which their personalities and skills complement each other. Are there any, and if so, what, characteristics that they are lacking that would be helpful in their roles as detective and sidekick?
6. Provide examples from the text of the ways crime and science interact. Has this relationship changed throughout the novel, and/ or through time (ex. the many CSI shows of today)?
7. What is the role of the setting in the novel-in setting the mood, enabling events, as a contrast between urban London and rural Devonshire
(which also has an internal contrast between the modern and the ancient)?
8. In what ways, if any, would modern technology impact the case?
9. Pick three major symbols, and analyze their use and meaning throughout the novel.
10. Based on The Hound of The Baskervilles, as well as any additional research, outline Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s views on his time period (ex. inheritance through noble lines, dehumanization in pursuit of money, supernatural versus science).