Conflict and Complication - Sample Essay

There are two types of victims in the two stories. Firstly there is the unexpecting, innocent victim, killed by an unknown source when it’s too late. This is what happened to Malcolmson and Julie Stoker. Then there is the type like Dr.Roylott, whose plans backfired on him and ended up dying of his own evil and corruption. Because of this Sherlock Holmes said “I cannot say it is likely to weigh very heavily upon my conscience.”

In ‘The Judges House’ the victim is a man of intelligence. He is a lonely man but is not afraid of this loneliness that he suffers. This may have been one fault that caused Malcolmson’s death. He was not afraid of things as he told Mrs. Witham. “You need not to be concerned about me”. He was not superstitious and had enough “sufficient mysteries” to worry about. Malcolmson was not at all intimidated by the locals’ “absurd prejudice”.

This is the complete opposite of how the two ladies in ‘The Speckled Band’ reacted to the strange goings on in the house that they lived. They immediately felt intimidated and looked for help. Firstly, Julia on the night of her death, questioned her sister about strange goings on in the house. After receiving a negative answer from her sister, she tried to dismiss these noises in the night as “no great consequence”. The 2 stories are both based on different types of murder mysteries. ‘The Judges House’ by Bram Stoker is based on a supernatural theme, which is not intended to be perceived as true. On eh other hand, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Speckled Band’ is based on more logic than supernatural events.

In ‘The Judges House’ there are many mysteries which are deliberately left unsolved. We are never told what the rats represented, of which there was a lot of detail. Personally, I believe that they may have been the previous victims of the judge. If the great rat was the judge, then it would make sense that the other rats were silenced at his entrance, like respecting a judge when he enters a courtroom. The rats were there to warn off potential victims, and they tried to help Malcolmson escape by ringing the bell. When the judge heard the rats ringing the bell he “looked up, a scowl of diabolical anger overspread his face”. The word diabolical is a very strong word to show he was furious. “As he raised his hand the rats fled the swaying rope of the alarm bell”. They were afraid of him and feared his anger.

In conclusion, these two stories are excellent examples of the murder mystery genre written in that period. At the start of the story the situation is exposed. The scene is established, and the characters are introduced. Conflict and Complication then occur in the middle of the story, where clues and red herrings are added in to build up the tension and suspension. This all builds a climax up to the conclusion/solution and the resolution. Personally, I choose ‘The Speckled Band’ to be my favourite story of the two. They story is more based on a logical explanation, and although some of the theories my of seemed a bit absurd, a little imagination is always need to perceive these stories as true.