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  1. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle



    Do you believe Miss Stapleton should be held responsible for the actions in the story? If so, why and how severely should she be punished? If not, why not?    


Subject Literature Pages 2 Style APA


Whether Miss Stapleton Should be Held Responsible for the Actions within the Story and the Severity of Her Punishment

In the novel entitled “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle Miss Stapleton is depicted as an extremely ambiguous character. Her ambiguity lies in the fact that she, in some situations, appears to support the ill actions of the antagonist, Mr. Stapleton, while in certain circumstances she is portrayed as being opposed to such action. Nonetheless, in my view, I believe that Miss Stapleton should be held responsible for the actions in the story, as she was a willing accomplice in the crimes perpetrated by Mr. Stapleton, her husband, and only turned against him after realizing that he is cheating on her. As an accomplice to the crimes of her husband, Miss Stapleton contributed significantly to the creation of a favorable atmosphere or environment for the evil actions executed by Mr. Stapleton against other innocent individuals in the story. The events and truths that unravel in the later stages of the story reinforce the need for Miss Stapleton to be held accountable for the actions within the narrative. For instance, contrary to Mr. Stapleton’s original claim that she is her sister, the eventual revelations in the story show that she is his wife. As Mr. Stapleton’s wife she initially supported all his plans including establishing a passage through the Grimpen Mire with the aim of ensuring that they get to a protected Island and secure place to preserve the Hound. In addition, she permitted Stapleton to employ her in luring Sir Henry with the aim of framing him the Hound one evening. Nonetheless, Stapleton’s jealousy became a hindrance to this plan.

Even though proponents of Miss Stapleton can argue that her actions were informed or influenced by fear and ties of love, these reasons do not invalidate the fact that she willingly partook in her husband’s actions, and only ruined against him upon the realization that he was cheating on. As such, readers can deduce that Miss Stapleton could stick with her husband’s plans to the end in case she had not discovered his engagement in an extra-marital affair. Nevertheless, events in the story reinforce the fact that she was strongly in support of her husband’s actions. For example, even though she attempts to stop the murder of Sir Henry, she does not willingly reveal the secret of Mr. Stapleton. Holmes proceeds to speculate that Mr. Stapleton exerted a great influence over his wife, Miss Stapleton, which may have been fear or love, or even both, which in turn informed her decision. Nonetheless, this claim is invalid as Miss Stapleton was a willing accomplice in her husband’s crimes executed in the initial stages of the story. She is only turned against Mr. Stapleton when she discovers that he is having an affair with Laura Lyons. This revelation occurs when she has an argument with her husband, who ends up disclosing to her about her rival. This event compels Miss Stapleton to completely turn against her husband. As a result, she decides to lead Watson and Holmes to his hideaway at the core of Grimpen Mire. However, despite her guilt I believe that the severity of Miss Stapleton’s punishment should be lesser relative to that of her husband, as she played a key role in the arrest of her husband, whose capture had proven elusive. Moreover, she was often used merely as a bait and cover-up for her husband’s crime, and did not engage directly in the perpetration of the crimes.



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