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

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Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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...

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