Stapleton is well respected, as he is feared by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, because he is an upper class criminal. As a character, Conan Doyle uses him to illustrate the idea that aristocratic people could be just as devious and criminal as the lower classes. Conan Doyle suggests that prejudice existed against the working class and that education and money could lead to horrific crimes. A Victorian reader would think of Selden as a dangerous criminal in society. Although Conan Doyle makes references to his animal-like appearance and manner, suggesting that he is linked to the 'beast in man' theory, the emphasis is really on his being hunted like a beast.
He symbolizes ' the determination of man' because he never ever gives up; he always tries to avoid the police. It is also made clear that he is a danger to society and Conan Doyle presents him in such a way that we know the general public would have had little pity for him. Selden's mind is as fragile as an egg, if he keeps on trying the mind would eventually break from the stress. He should be pitied because he is corrupted in prison so he doesn't know what is right and what is wrong. To society he is a dangerous villain, to his sister he is child who has lost his way. His heart has total darkness in him but inside that darkness there is little bit of light trying to show, like 'Pandora's box' when Pandora releases all the evil then she seals hope. Pandora told hope She would never let hope go, but hope says it would be a grave mistake so she released hope.
Pandora is Selden; the sins are the darkness in his heart and hope is the light in his heart. Conan Doyle deliberately doesn't give us any information in the novel about his crimes. Perhaps he is doesn't tell us preciously about the nature of the crime but, it's possible it's a murder. His demise also illustrates the way the poorer classes were made into scapegoats and there was little value attached to their lives. This shows, always give a second chance to criminals because it's not them, it's their bestial side. His longing to get out of the country and begin anew implies that many lower class criminals had simply become embroiled in crime against their better nature.
The description of his close bond with his sister, Mrs Barrymore, also suggests that criminals were ordinary people who had simply gone astray but the Victorians' lack of compassion meant he was treated as an outcast. When Mrs Barrymore says "We humoured him too much when he was a lad, and gave him his own way in everything, until he came to think that the world was made for his pleasure, & that he could do what he liked it" Conan Doyle suggests there was often a psychological reason for people's crimes.
The educated people who began to consider this possibility went against popular opinion, which felt that 'the man was a danger to the community, an unmitigated scoundrel for whom there was neither pity nor excuse.' In' To the world he was the man of violence, half animal and half demon; but to her he always remained the little wilful boy of her own girlhood, the child who had clung to her hand. Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him' Conan Doyle shows that mankind had two sides.
The Barrymores are criminals in the sense that they aid and abet Selden, the brother of Mrs Barrymore. Conan Doyle presents them in a positive light and through them we realise that criminals were often vulnerable people. The question of punishment or help is raised. Through their kindness and loyalty, we are reminded of the unforgiving attitude to crime in the Victorian era. They also hide information about the death of Sir Charles. They symbolise ' The loyalty of man'. They are not criminals because they help their brother and help Sir Henry after Watson and Henry find out about Selden. Mr& Mrs Barrymore care about Selden: "' When he dragged himself here one night, weary& starving, with the warders hard at his heels, what could we do? We took him in and fed him and cared for him.
Then you returned, sir, and my brother thought he would be safer on the moor than anywhere else until the hue and cry was over, so he lay in hiding there. But every second night we made sure if he was still there by putting a light in the window, and if there was an answer my husband took out some bread and meat to him. Everyday we hoped that he was gone, but as long as he was there we could not desert him.'" They help Selden without trying to harm Sir Henry Baskerville. That's why The Barrymores are actually more innocent than guilty because they help Selden, Henry and Watson; providing information for Watson, Henry and providing food for Selden. They are guilty though, of not telling Watson and Henry about Selden and the information they desire. But they help solve the mystery.