The Valley of the Fear - Essay

1706 words 7 pages
Analytical essay
Adrian Flynn’s playwright “The Valley of the Fear”, adapted from the novel by Conan Doyle, demonstrates how the writer uses techniques to convey an impression of suspense and mystery through scenes with a high level of anticipation and uncertainty. Suspense is achieved through the use of literary devices and events that stimulate the viewer’s moods. Readers wait with anticipation for the next secret to be revealed in strong, sudden scenes. Furthermore, Doyle creates a sense of tension by never giving the reader an entire answer so they can make up their own mind about what’s happening.
The murder of John Douglas illustrates how the playwright is punctuated at times with strong, sudden scenes to keep you on edge. Someone
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I shall have to tell my tale to the police; but, between ourselves, if it were not for the convincing evidence of this wound of mine, I should be surprised if they believed my statement, for it is a very extraordinary one, and I have not much in the way of proof with which to back it up. And, even if they believe me, the clues which I can give them are so vague that it is a question whether justice will be done.
Author’s generate suspense out of relatively mundane things, such as tension, risks, characters being compromised, facing off alone, or whether the stuffy hero will walk under the door just before the pail of water falls down.

Throughout the beginning of the playwright the level of anxiety is heightening due to the narrator, Dr Watson, is built up to ensure a relationship of tension (deception) between him and the reader. Everything he says is instantly unquestionable and this amplifies the mystery and suspense. An example of this is: When Sergeant Wilson questions Barker, Ames and Mason regarding the murdered victim’s (Master’s) wedding ring. Here you can see that Doyle is emphasising Watson’s profession. The reader is given the impression that because Watson is an apprentice he can be trusted. Furthermore, the reader knows that he’s going to dramatise the events. To ensure that the mystery itself is properly addressed (disguised), no detail is left out and this creates vivid images. The

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