The Hound of the Baskervilles Study Guide

The Hound of the Baskervilles Study Guide

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle is one of his most famous - or maybe the most famous - novels about Sherlock Holmes. The case of the mysterious Hound inspired many movie directors to show and reinterpret it in different environments and with different accents. Why The Hound of the Baskervilles is so interesting for the audience? There is no single answer but we’ll try to deduce the most plausible ones.

The beginning of The Hound of the Baskervilles looks like a classical Gothic novel. An ancient curse inflicted on the family by the cruel ancestor, the innocent girl, pursued by the hound and the mysterious beast as the nemesis of the Baskervilles. But what we know about Sherlock Holmes is that he has an incredibly logical mind, he is overly pragmatic and doesn’t believe in mystical things, considering that everything has a reason and the causes. This conflict of the supernatural and the logical follows us throughout all the story, raising the tension until the very end. Of course, it isn’t the epic conflict of Romanticism and Enlightenment like in Faust by Goethe, but still, we can’t be sure about the nature of the things in the novel. The conflict raises from a simple duel of the minds of a criminal and a detective to the fight between human logic and something that lays beyond understanding. In The Hound of the Baskervilles we, as readers, feel that Holmes comes too close to the edge of his willpower and finally starts to doubt if the case can be solved rationally.

The Hound of the Baskervilles gathers the best traits from the two genres - a Gothic novel and a detective story - becoming a true masterpiece that keeps us on our toes until the very last page of it. If you still haven’t read it, you should definitely put it into your reading list and enjoy one of the best classical detective novels ever.

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