The Hound of the Baskervillesby: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Chapter 1“Mr. Sherlock Holmes” Table of contents: Characters / Suspects: Purpose of chapter / Important events: Clues / evidence: Which detective elements are presented? Quotes to support this:
Characters / Suspects: Mr. Sherlock Holmes: Holmes is the detective. Watson: Holmes’ sidekick He worships Holmes and strives to refine his deductive reasoning skills in the manner of Holmes. The story is written from his point-of-view. He is the narrator. Dr. Mortimer: A doctor. He leaves his walking stick in Holmes’ office and Watson and Holmes try to deduce who exactly this man is by inspecting it carefully. Dr. Mortimer comes to ask for Holmes’ advice. Monsieur Bertillon: (minor reference) Of the Paris police. Dr. Mortimer refers to him. -NOT a significant character. He was the inventor of “anthropometry” – a way to scientifically measure the bone structure of criminals to help in identifying repeat offenders. Before fingerprinting was found to be more reliable, police had files of “Bertillon identity cards.”
Characters: Mr. Sherlock Holmes: Mr. Watson: Monsieur Bertillon:
Purpose / Events: This chapter is to set the stage for the reader—we, as reader, begin to understand the relationship between Watson and Holmes as well as their individual personalities. A visitor has left a walking stick in Holmes’ office while the two men were out. In this chapter, the two men look at the stick and try to accurately deduce who this visitor is—and perhaps what he wants. Watson offers his suggestions, but Holmes merely complements Watson on the way his “fallacies” “stimulate” Holmes’ own less- “elementary” deductions.
Events continued… Dr. Mortimer appears, showing that Sherlock Holmes’ deductions were mostly correct--that the owner of the walking stick was a doctor who was “amiable, unambitious, and absent-minded.” He is a man who received the stick as a gift from the Charing Cross Hospital and now lives in the country. The man also owns medium-sized dog. Dr. Mortimer is described as “a very tall, thin man, with a nose like a beak.” At the close of the chapter, Holmes takes offence when the doctor labels him as “the second highest expert in Europe.” And tells Mortimer that he better quickly explain what it is he wants…
Clues: No clues are presented in this chapter, as it’s purpose is to simply introduce the main characters of the story.
Detective Elements The detective must be memorable. Sherlock Holmes is clearly an unusual character as in this chapter he shows his absolute confidence in his ability to ascertain information from the most obscure clues. For example: Holmes sees Watson’s reflection in the shining silver coffee-pot and therefore knows who is entering the room without turning his head. He deduces from the walking stick correctly much information about it’s owner. He observes from Dr. Mortimer’s forefinger that the doctor rolls his own cigarettes.
Quotes: Memorable detective: Watson to Holmes: “How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in the back of your head.” Holmes to Watson: “I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth.” Dr. Mortimer asks Holmes if he had inadvertently insulted him by naming him the “second highest expert in Europe,” and Holmes responds, “Just a little… I think, Dr. Mortimer, you would do wisely if without more ado you would kindly tell me plainly what the exact nature of the problem is in which you demand my assistance.”