We also find out that if a least one of the girls married it would ruin his plans, “While even one of them would cripple him to a serious extent”. We are suspicious of Dr. Roylott from the start of the story and later find out that he is planning to murder Julia, “This ventilator, and to the bell-rope, which hung down to the bed. The discovery that this was a dummy, and that the bed was clamped to the floor, instantly gave rise to the suspicion that the rope was there as a bridge for something passing through the hole, and coming to the bed”, this quote tells us that certain objects were in the room for a reason.
The murder seems to be violent, “Her face blanched with terror, her hands groping for help, her whole figure swaying to and fro like that of a drunkard”. This suggests that she is in pain and by using words like “groping” makes it sound violent. It clearly shows us that he is a doctor who has abused his power for wrongdoings, “When a doctor has nerve and he has knowledge”.
Although is a doctor, very much a professional man, people also fear him, his collection of wild and dangerous animals reflect this, “He has a passion also for Indian animals, which are sent over to him by a correspondent and he has at this moment a cheetah and a baboon, which wonder freely over his grounds”. This might reflect his power that he has over his daughters and over the villages, “Feared by the villagers almost as much as their master”. During the Victorian period, women were regarded as “the weaker sex” in many ways.
The Victorian era was a very patriarchal society. Victorian woman had little power and control over their lives as it was believed by many that women were incapable of sensible and logical thought, people believed that they were led by their emotions rather than their minds. This is shown in “The Speckled Band” by the fact that the Stoner twins’ inherited fortunes are controlled by their cruel stepfather, Dr. Roylott, and the twins can only gain their inheritance by marrying. It was seen as improper for women of the middle and upper classes to do any kind of work.
This was partly because they were seen as delicate, frail creatures and partly because they were not entrusted with serious matters. As a result of these stereotypes, Victorian writers often portrayed women as helpless victims who needed to be rescued. Helen Stoner fits the image of a typical Victorian woman, she is an innocent, helpless creature who needs a man to rescue her: “I have heard of you, Mr Holmes, I have heard of you from Mrs Farintash, whom you helped in the hour of her sore need”, this quote proves that all women seemed weak and venerable in the Victorian era, not just Helen Stoner.
“I shall be happy to devote thee same care to your case as I did do to your friend”. It also shows that she is a member of “the weaker sex” by being the petrified victim of her wicked stepfather, “The lady coloured deeply, and covered over her injured wrist, “he is a hard man”, she said “and perhaps he hardly knows his own strength”, it seems as though she is covering for him because she is scared that someone might find out what he has done.
These quotes show the contrast between Helen and Dr. Roylott, how Helen is weak and innocent and Doctor Roylott is strong and evil, even the facial features show the difference in the characters personalities, for example Dr. Roylott’s features are sharp and evil looking, like a bird of prey, whereas Helen Stoner is described as a “hunted animal”, this is a good comparison as it is like a bird hunting its prey.