Annotated Bibliography

Arends, Carolyn.  “Satan’s a Goner.”  Christianity Today  (2011): 54.  EBSCOhost.  Web.  22 Nov 2011.

In her article, Arends reflects on a sermon she heard as a child comparing the headless, destructively thrashing snake refusing to die to Satan, who brings destruction in all its manifestations of violence and plague upon us, though he too has already been defeated and crushed by Jesus.  Life’s story has already been written and its conclusion decided, but, like the snake, Satan continues to destruct even though “[he] doesn’t stand a chance” against “God’s love and power,” and one must never forget that (53).  Too, the deceiving Dr. Roylott who, in “The Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, sought to get away with the death of his first stepdaughter undetected and then follow-up with the untimely demise of his second, was in denial of his likeness to both the snake, “[thrashing] about, smashing furniture and flailing against walls and windows, wreaking havoc until its body finally [understands] that it no longer [has] a head,” and “Satan . . . [who has] already been defeated.  He just doesn’t know it yet.  In the meantime, he’s going to do some damage” (53).  Dr. Roylott was as good as guilty from the moment he approached Sherlock Holmes, threatening him stay out of his way.  These similarities will be helpful in my final project because it displays Doyle’s usage of the snake as the Doctor’s choice weapon of murder in a two-time symbolism.  Dr. Roylott, wicked like a snake, evil like Satan, persists in attempting to kill his stepdaughter even though “[he’s] already been defeated” and Holmes has him figured out (53).



Edwards, Karen.  “Adder.”  Milton Quarterly  39.4 (2005): 184-187.  EBSCOhost.  Web.  22 Nov 2011

Introducing biblical and literary examples for support, Edwards distinguishes between the connotations of “adder” and “viper,” though the two are at times used synonymously to represent the poisonous snake.  The adder, however, suggests a dangerous, stinging snake who is also known for its deafness, like Satan and wicked men who “refuse to hear God’s word” and bring perversion to His world (185).  While the “[adder] suggests a familiar danger” and “is associated with darting and stinging,” the viper connotes “viviparous birth (184).”  This discernment will be helpful in my final project where I will assess Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s decision to assign the snake, specifically the feared swamp adder, as Dr. Roylott’s choice weapon in the death of stepdaughter.  Additionally, the adder’s symbolic representation of “stubbornly, wicked men,” delineated in Psalm 85, ‘“Their poison is like the poison of a serpent they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; Which will hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely” (4-5)’ supports Doyle’s appointment further (185).  Dr. Roylott defines wickedness.  He killed his own stepdaughter out of greed, and then stood stubbornly against the threat of the great Sherlock Holmes’ participation in the investigation of the girl’s death and steadfastly attempted to kill again.  However, what strikes me in addition to Doyle’s keen usage of symbolism, is the apparent irony: if the adder is deaf, how then was it expected to hear the whistle Dr. Roylott blew to summon it back through the ventilator connecting his and his stepdaughter’s rooms and into after completing its task and killing the girl?



Khodarahimi, Siamak.  “Snake Mother Imagery in Generalised Anxiety Disorder.”  International Forum of Psychonalysis  19.3 (2010): 165-171.  EBSCHOhost.  Web.  22 Nov 2011.

Symbols are a product of both the conscious and unconscious experiences and can be decoded based on the Jungarian analytic model, a four stage model of analytic therapy that incorporates talk therapy with “the gathering of associations and amplifications in a progressive order,” described in this article in relation to the treatment of a patient diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (169).  The snake reflects “human behavior since an animal and the images connected with it are linked to an individual’s reliance on nature” (166).  Further, the snake symbolizes human behavior across the spectrum: evil, as is an appropriate association for the deceiving murderer Roylott, and healing, too relevant, as Roylott is in fact a doctor.  “[The] serpent carries in itself the sense of both fascination and the terror of life,” it is “emblematic of the nurturing earth” because it lives close to the ground, and “the perils of the underworld” also because of its physical location (166).  Likewise, the snake is “the leader of the soul to and from the underworld,” existing as a symbol of “fertility” and “deliverance” and also death into the “unknown.”  Khodarahimi’s article establishes a fascinating incongruity.  The seemingly contradictory symbolism of the snake as an element of good together with evil sits well with Roylott, a doctor, that who gives life, and a murder, that who takes it away.  This coexistence of archetypes establishes an intriguing foundation for my final project in which I will further explore the symbolic nature of the snake and its embodiment by Dr. Roylott.

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