The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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What are the internal and external conflict in in The Hound of the Baskervilles

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As with all detective stories, the main external conflict in The Hound of the Baskervilles is between the detective and the killer: Sherlock Holmes and Jack Stapleton. It's Stapleton who has been going around bumping off the heirs to the Baskerville estate. And it's Holmes who needs to solve this most perplexing mystery, before Henry Baskerville becomes the next of Stapleton's victims.

Internal conflict is seldom an important element in detective stories. However, one could see some semblance of internal conflict in Holmes's desire to prove himself the greatest detective in the world. Holmes's monumental ego is severely bruised by Mortimer's comment that he is only the second greatest detective in the world. One can only suppose, but this might well create an internal conflict in that Holmes feels the need to prove himself and close the gap between his elevated self-image and how other people see him.

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Some of the internal conflicts include Sir Henry's decsion to return to his home, Baskerville Hall; Stapleton's motivations; Dr. Watson's anxiety on accompanying Sir Henry to Baskerville Hall; and Sherlock Holmes' efforts to figure out the crime.

Some of the external conflicts include Dr. Watson and Sherlock's confrontation with the hound; Sir Henry's conflict with Stapleton; Hugo Baskerville's confrontation with the "hound;" and Laura Lyons confilct with Stapleton.