Miss Stapleton aids and abets her brother/ husband in the crimes; she is an accomplice to Stapleton. She is innocent because she always tries to warn Sir Henry Baskerville, about the hound. Her husband bullies her because she is always spoiling the plan of Stapleton, by telling Sir Henry Baskerville to go back to London, as he will be safer. She is a criminal in the eyes of law but to the readers she is seen as a victim or a puppet to the puppet master.
She always conspires along with the plan but under pressure. She symbolises ‘ the kindness of man’ because she is very caring of Sir Henry Baskerville because she knows that if he dies, this would be on her conscience. This is why she always warns Sir Henry Baskerville to go back to London. She is in between good and evil because she is good because of her warnings to Watson and Henry Baskerville. She is evil because, she always plays along with Stapleton’s plan, she is twilight. She knows what’s right and wrong. She is always trying to do the right thing but sometimes she has to do the wrong so her husband Stapleton won’t punish her.
Sherlock Holmes can be seen as someone who breaks the law, but to capture the criminals. He is morally wrong when he manipulates Watson because he uses Watson making him a decoy and when he is on the cliff, he looks down on Watson and Henry. Conan Doyle is suggesting that Holmes thinks he is better Watson and Henry. He symbolises ‘the brains of man’ because no matter how difficult the job is, he always figures it out in the end but sometimes he figures out in the beginning but never reveals it to Watson or his client. Also when he tries to figure out things, he uses logic to figure out things, for example the portrait of Sir Hugo Baskerville and in the end he figures out that Sir Hugo just looked like Stapleton.
Sherlock Holmes also aids and abets Selden: ‘” I guess we are aiding and abetting a felony, Watson? But, after what we have heard, I don’t feel as if I could give the man up, so there is the end of it.”‘ This is ironic because when they say it’s the end of it, in matter of fact it is the beginning for both Watson and Henry because Sherlock knows this was the beginning of the truth, he keeps Watson in the dark.
He manipulates Watson: “‘ Then you use me, and yet you do not trust me”‘ He thinks of Watson as nothing more than a pawn in his game and thinks Watson’s reports are useless: “‘ He has given me an extra pair of eyes upon a very active pair of feet, and both have been invaluable… Then my reports have been wasted! As my voice trembled as I recalled the pain and prides with which I had composed them.'” He uses Henry for his own gain and to capture the criminal: ‘” It had not crossed my minds, however, that he would wish me to go with him, nor could I understand how we could be both absent at a moment which he himself declared to be critical.”‘
The Victorians’ attitude to crime was ruthless to people who committed crimes particularly murders. Crimes carried out could be caused by the influence of family background, how these people were treated as youngsters; for example in ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles,’ Rodger Baskerville was regarded by his brother as useless, incompetent, a bit of a fool and was removed from the family. Later his son known in
the story as Stapleton wants revenge on the family for what he sees as the betrayal of his father- Rodger. Of all characters in the story, I find that Stapleton is the most interesting because he is not a pure villain in my opinion. He wants to avenge his father which is probably a good reason but he goes about in the wrong way, for example scaring Sir Charles to death and wanting to kill Sir Henry. In my opinion the meaning of this book is we are not purely good or evil; we are twilight or in between such as ‘The Darwin Theory’ on the beast in man. Another meaning is always give a second chance to everyone. Sherlock Holmes’ attitude to crime is not to show mercy and not to be forgiving. Watson, on the other hand, is good, forgiving and always tries to give the enemy a second chance. Watson and Holmes are like two-sides of a coin; they are different yet they make one whole. Holmes and Watson would not be as good crime solvers as they are if they were with anyone else.