When reading The Hound of the Baskervilles through a gothic literature lens, it becomes very clear that this book shares elements with gothic literature. Based on the video we saw in class, gothic literature contains a variety of different tropes. A couple of these tropes include the uncanny and the supernatural, both of which I found within this novel.
“Dr Mortimer looked strangely at us for an instant, and his voice sank almost to a whisper as he answered: Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!”(p.20). The tone and content of this quote resonate with me like that of a campfire scary story or a Scooby Doo episode. Most campfire scary stories and Scooby Doo episodes revolve around an uncanny element or mystery, exactly like many gothic novels. In this case that uncanny element is the gigantic hound.
“Since the tragedy, Mr Holmes, there have come to my ears several incidents which are hard to reconcile with the settled order of Nature”(p.24). This quote brings to attention the concept of supernatural vs. nature. If something cannot be understood as a part the “settled” or known nature, then it must be of supernatural origin. With that logic in mind, the “gigantic hound” must be supernatural until it is proven natural. Just like the uncanny element or mystery in a Scooby Doo episode appears to be supernatural in almost all aspects, until it is discovered that the “insert random Scooby Doo monster” is just a man in a really good costume.
When reading this novel without looking at it through any particular lens, it is obvious that it is a detective novel. The first mention of Sherlock Holmes essentially places this novel immediately within the detective novel genre. The discovery of gothic tropes only add to the novel’s story, thus making it more compelling and interesting.