"The schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another." How does "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" prove this?

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Adventure of the Speckled Band" does not exactly prove the saying that "The schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another." The ending is satisfying to the reader because it concludes the mystery with poetic justice. The villainous stepfather has killed one girl with his poisonous adder and intends to kill the other girl. He has to keep the adder in his own room and when Holmes drives it back through the ventilator, the stepfather is killed by his own adder. This might be said to illustrate the homily that "the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another," but unfortunately this is not an inevitable outcome. Very often the victim falls into the pit that was dug for him or her. I believe it would be more accurate that the Sherlock Holmes story is satisfactory to the reader because it concludes with poetic justice and shows how a schemer can sometimes fall into the pit he digs for another. In this story the schemer wouldn't have fallen into his own pit if it hadn't been for the interference of Sherlock Holmes. It is certainly one of the best of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Read the study guide:
The Adventure of the Speckled Band

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question