Arthur Conan Doyle Questions and Answers
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Start Your Free Trial

How does Arthur Conan Doyle make the ending of "How It Happened" so effective?

Expert Answers info

Bridgett Sumner, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Hofstra University

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,733 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

With the title, "How It Happened," Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sets up his readers to expect that they will read a straightforward narrative of a significant event, and the bulk of the story is just that: a combination of operator error and mechanical failure that results in a horrific car crash. Because the driver describes in such detail the sensations of the long downhill run and near misses on a series of three perilous curves, readers expect that the story will end with his miraculous survival, since he is telling the tale.

The story's ending really begins with the driver becoming "aware of my own existence once more," a clever and effective device that the first-time reader accepts as an account of the driver regaining consciousness after the impact. It...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 405 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial