Holmes: A God Amongst Men

I’ve always found myself being especially drawn in by intense description. Adjectives and adverbs and similes all give me a great picture in my head when I am reading a text. In my last post I talked about the description in of the mansion in Lady Audley’s Secret. In this post I want to talk about the description of the hound in The Hound of the Baskervilles on page 149.  There is a categorical cluster of words that has to do with fire. Smoldering, flickering flame, hellish, I think are all used on purpose. Conan-Doyle wants us to visually see what Watson and Holmes are seeing. The best way to do that is to give us an ungodly amount of adjectives. So what? What’s different about this description as opposed to the mansion description is that Watson is trying to bring us to Holmes’s level. I think that this is a common theme throughout the book because Watson, the narrator, wants us to know that Holmes is a god amongst men and we can’t understand what is going on. So the way for us to know what is going on is through extensive adjectives and explanations, because we couldn’t possibly understand what the great Sherlock Holmes is experiencing. Sure the passage might be giving the description of the dog, but really I think that this passage is just Watson belittling the audience because he doesn’t believe that we are intelligent enough to know what’s going on.