Doyle builds up his atmosphere by gradually making his use of language more extreme and much more descriptive. Towards the end of chapter 6 Doyle uses language such as ” The journey a swift pleasant one, spent it in making the more intimate acquaintance of my two companions, and playing with Dr. Mortimer’s spaniel.” This uses some use of descriptive language but is not clear enough to create a mental image in the mind of the reader.
Whereas later on in the book in chapter 14 Doyle extends his language to create more atmosphere such as “I sprang to my feet, my inert hand grasping my pistol, my mind paralysed bye the dreadful shape which had sprung out upon us from the shadows of the fog. A hound it was, an enormous coal black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. Fire burst from its open mouth, its eyes glowed with a smouldering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap were outlined in flickering flame.” Now this passage uses a vast amount of descriptive language to capture the reader and create horror. This description also lets the reader imagine the hound leaping out at them from amid the fog. So as you can see Doyle builds up his atmosphere throughout the duration of the story. This atmosphere adds a lot of suspense to the story; it really grabs the reader’s attention and makes them never want to put the book down.
The weather in this story is very important in creating the effect of supernaturalism, mystery and suspense especially in chapter 14. This is because in the later stages of the book, just before the hound gets killed there needed to be a big climax, to create an effect on the reader. One of the factors used was the weather. The weather contributes greatly to the setting and atmosphere because it allows the story to be very effective.
“The night-air was heavy with the smell of damp and decay. Now and again the moon peeped out for an instant, but clouds were driving over the face of the sky, and just as we came out on the moor a thin rain began to fall” This gives you an impression of what sort of language Doyle is using to describe the weather. He is going into detail to allow the reader to picture what the weather would be like; this helps when creating the atmosphere and setting.
The weather affects the plot because it creates a dark and gloomy setting for the story to be set in. If the story was set in a sunny area it would be a lot harder for Doyle to create atmosphere and setting. “The moon shone on it, and it looked like a great shimmering ice-field, with the heads of the distant tors as rocks borne upon its surface…The stars shone cold and bright, while a half-moon bathed the whole scene in a soft, uncertain light.”
These are two quotes that show how Doyle uses descriptive language to describe the weather on the moor. They give the reader a picture of a cold and desolate landscape that is plagued with strange noises and peculiar shapes. This is important because it allows the characters to be alert at all times, giving the reader the impression that something is about to happen, and therefore successfully keeping them reading.
In conclusion, all of the elements I have discussed so far contribute in creating a perfect setting and a dark, mysterious and dangerous atmosphere. Doyle makes this story a frightening horror story by using strong descriptive language and the use of imagery, this is a very clever and simple way of creating an enormous effect on the reader because they imagine they are in the story and can therefore experience the suspense and thrill in a first person view.
This story was very effective when I read it, I especially liked the end few chapters where the suspense and atmosphere were peaking. This book really pulled me into the story and made me feel as though I was one of the people in the story, and all of these events were happening to me. This is why I think this book is so very effective in creating a powerful setting and atmosphere.