The high profile case of Jack the Ripper was going on in late 1888. But reading about Holmes suggested that crimes could be solved. In a detective fiction now we expect an amazing detective that surprises the audience with their intelligence and a detectives assistant that contributes to the ideas and judgements. We also expect a villain that is cunning and easy to take a dislike to and with every villain there are the red herrings which helps attract the readers attention. In earlier chapters of The Hound of the Baskervilles we have what we expect in a detective fiction.
Holmes is the detective and Watson is his trusty assistant. But in Chapter 6; Holmes withdraws from the story which is surprising as we are used to having Holmes as the main character. This keeps us reading because we want to see how Watson copes without Holmes. We always see Watsons admirations for Holmes but in chapter 6 we see some of Holmes admiration for Watson as he obviously has faith in him if he is leaving Watson to report everything that he thinks is relevant. Chapter 6 is very straight forward and it just shows us Watsons logical approach to things that we dont see because of Holmes.
Unlike in further chapters we just read reports and letters that Watson is sending to Holmes. In chapter 6 we read a lot of what Watson thinks and he describes the atmosphere and setting. In an earlier chapter Holmes says to Watson: you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. We get the typical Detective and assistant from this because Holmes looks down on Watson but he appreciates his contributions because they help him get and establish his ideas. I think Holmes also takes Watsons ideas and adapts them into his own.
This is because he always asks Watson to give his ideas before giving his own. It helps having Watson as the narrator because hes a doctor and Hound of the Baskervilles was written when the Victorians were very interested in science and how illnesses were spread. We also trust Watson he is solid and dependable. At one time Victorians thought that bad things were spread by bad smells. So having Watson as the narrator would have reflected Doyles background and his scientific training.
This would have fallen into the Victorian interests because everything going on in those times such as: the new police force, Jack the Ripper and the changes in science and what the Victorians thought they knew about it. Doyle handles the characters very well; a lot of the characters are very one dimensional and we dont know much about them. Sir Henry is the typical Victorian hero hes noble and strong and is described as very attractive, every Victorian girls dream.
But we dont learn much about the other characters such as the Stapletons; we are made aware of their presence and they say that Stapletons sister is a lady of attractions. So we know that they are there but we dont know anything about them. We also are made aware of the Barrymores but again we dont find out anything about them other than that they are the servants. As we read on we learn more and more about all the characters but because it is written in chronological order we dont find out much about them until everything is explained at the end.