“The Adventure of the Speckled Band”: Identifying with Entertainment

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” attends to the entertainment value. This value comes from all the characters bringing something interesting to the story.

The Humor in the Episode

One entertainment aspect Doyle included is “‘Ha! You put me off, do you?’ said our new visitor, taking a step forward and shaking his hunting-crop./ ‘I know you, you scoundrel! I have heard of you before. You are Holmes, the meddler.’/My friend smiled./ ‘Holmes, the busybody!’/ His smile broadened./‘Holmes, the Scotland Yard Jack-in-office!’/ Holmes chuckled heartily. ‘Your conversation is most entertaining,’ said he. ‘When you go out close the door, for there is a decided draught’”(Doyle). This quote relates to the conversation between the two as he jokingly calls him different names and “job titles” that he holds to make Holmes laugh. Holmes replies back to him in a jokingly manner which pushes the entertainment and the humor aspect more in the story. “‘I will go when I have said my say. Don’t you dare to meddle with my affairs. I know that Miss Stoner has been here. I traced her! I am a dangerous man to fall foul of! See here’”(Doyle). After Holmes made this comment, the conversation makes it seem as it is a shift because he involved someone who is closely related back to the character he has a conversation with which pushes to a kind of serious scene.

The Change of Tone

The scene which made the story lose its sense of humor is the conversation between Mrs. Stoner and Holmes. Holmes asked her who she was related to because her name sounded fairly familiar. She replied to him, ‘My name is Helen Stoner, and I am living with my stepfather, who is the last survivor of one of the oldest Saxon families in England, the Roylotts of Stoke Moran, on the western border of Surrey’”(Doyle). He realized that the Rylotts were married to her mom and had her and her sister, Julia while they were married during the time. The tone switches in the story because she talks about the death of her mother and sister and how her stepfather did not do much during this time. Instead, he gave everyone demands such as “he hurled the local blacksmith over a parapet into a stream, and it was only by paying over all the money which I could gather together that I was able to avert another public exposure”(Doyle). He was lonely and having “power” was the only way he could reach people.

The Purpose of Doyle’s Humor

Doyle’s humor in the story gives some light-heartedness in a serious scene. This makes the adventure of the detective more entertaining. Another entertaining moment in the story is as follows, “‘Was it your custom always to lock yourselves in at night?’/‘Always.’/‘And why?’/‘I think that I mentioned to you that the doctor kept a cheetah and a baboon. We had no feeling of security unless our doors were locked.’/‘Quite so. Pray proceed with your statement.’”(Doyle) This conversation between Holmes and the detective was very nonchalant which is very smart and a little teasing. Another entertaining aspect of this quote is someone would keep a cheetah and a baboon as pets during the Victorian time period.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pushes his ideas by making serious scenes more humor to lighten the tone and mood of the story when it is being told. These actions are to make it more pleasing to the reader.

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