The Valley of Fear is a mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his famous detective character Sherlock Holmes. The novel was originally published in serial form in 1914 and was later released as a book in 1915. It is one of the four novels and fifty-six short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes.
The Valley of Fear is set in the late 19th century and follows the story of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. John Watson as they investigate a series of murders in a small English village called Birlstone. The murders are connected to a secret society known as the "Scowrers," which is involved in illegal activities such as extortion and murder.
Overall, the Valley of Fear has received positive reviews from critics and readers alike. Many have praised the intricate plot and the engaging characters, particularly Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The novel is seen as a classic example of the detective genre and is often compared to the works of Agatha Christie.
One of the strengths of the Valley of Fear is the way in which Conan Doyle builds the mystery and keeps the reader guessing until the very end. The plot is complex and full of twists and turns, and the characters are well-developed and believable. Holmes and Watson are dynamic and engaging, and their interactions with each other and the other characters in the story add depth and nuance to the novel.
Another strength of the Valley of Fear is the setting. The small English village of Birlstone is vividly depicted, and the descriptions of the surrounding countryside are evocative and immersive. The sense of place in the novel is strong and adds to the overall atmosphere of the story.
Some reviewers have criticized the Valley of Fear for its use of melodrama and its reliance on coincidence, but these criticisms are minor and do not detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel. Overall, the Valley of Fear is a well-written and engaging mystery that is sure to delight fans of the detective genre.
The setting of Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" is a rural farm in the southern United States in the late 20th century. The story is set in the present day, as the characters in the story use modern conveniences such as a car and a television.
The farm itself is described as a simple and modest place, with a dirt yard and a house that is "square as a box" with a "shaky porch". The house is described as being old and not well-maintained, with patches on the roof and a chimney that is "wobbly as a loose tooth". Despite its rough appearance, the house is a place of great importance to the main character, Mama, as it holds many memories and represents her family's history.
The surrounding landscape is also described as being rural and simple, with fields of cotton and a cow pasture. There is a sense of isolation in the setting, as the farm is described as being "off the main road" and "not easily visible". This isolation may be a metaphor for the characters' feelings of disconnection from their cultural heritage, as they live in a world that is largely influenced by white culture.
The setting of the story plays a significant role in the themes and conflicts of the story. The simple and modest farm represents Mama's values and her connection to her roots, while the city and its modern conveniences represent the outside world and the influence of white culture. The conflict between these two worlds is central to the story, as Mama struggles to reconcile her love for her daughter, Dee, with Dee's desire to distance herself from her family's history and traditions.
Overall, the setting of "Everyday Use" serves as a backdrop for the themes of family, heritage, and cultural identity that are explored in the story. It is a place of great importance to the characters and serves as a metaphor for the struggles and tensions that exist within their relationships and their sense of self.