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A study of Arthur Conan Doyle's presentation of Sherlock Holmes

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Introduction

A study of Arthur Conan Doyle's presentation of Sherlock Holmes Of the five Sherlock Holmes stories we have read, I will be writing about "The Silver Blaze", "The Speckled Band" and "The Man With The Twisted Lip". Sherlock Holmes, of 221 Baker Street is one of the most remarkable and remembered detectives of his time. Holmes is unlike any other fictional detective, as he seems almost too clever at times. Holmes is famous for his powers of observation and deduction. Holmes is able to change his age and gender in order to help solve a case but the image that sticks in most peoples head's is of him in a ear-flapped traveling cap and with a pipe in his mouth Arthur Conan Doyle began writing the stories 100 years ago, he chose set them in the past times, although to him the stories were set in the present tence. I can tell the stories are set 100 years ago because of the language, clothing and transport. In each story Holmes is required to travel up and down the country in order to solve the cases. He often travels by 1st class carriage, this shows he is of the upper class and will appeal to the readers, as they too were probably upper class when the stories were first wrote. In "The Speckled Band" Holmes and Watson travel by Pony Trap, this is another type of old fashioned transport. ...read more.

Middle

grief came to my wife like birds to a light house" this also gives Watson a chance to explain the case to the audience before explaining it to Holmes. Conan Doyle has started the story like this mainly to give Watson a chance to shine and show that there are some differences in the structure of his stories. Although Watson is portrayed as being quite stupid, this is only because he is out shone by Holmes' intelligence, Watson is in fact a doctor and although he does not solve any cases he does come to some significant conclusion. The next part of the story will involve Holmes and Watson traveling to the scene of the crime, which is a crucial part of the story. During their journey Holmes will often become "buried in the deepest thought", here Holmes is already beginning to think of what may have happened before he has any real evidence. Although Holmes tries to distance himself from the police force his methods are exactly the same as that of the police. Each time Holmes visits the scene of the crime he is able to deduce more than anyone with him, often Watson. Holmes will then drop a red herring by offering a false conclusion, e.g. in "The Speckled Band" we are lead to believe that the gypsies are responsible for the murder as Holmes thinks this, at the end of the story we learn that the gypsies had nothing to do with the murder and that they were the red herring. ...read more.

Conclusion

Holmes can also appear arrogant when he meets the King of Bohemia, unlike Watson who bows when the king enters the room Holmes refuses to even shake the King's hand. Holmes can sometimes treat Watson like a friend but can also, without meaning to, treat him like child e.g. Holmes often wakes Watson up early in the morning and demands that Watson accompanies him to various locations. In "The Speckled Band" Watson returns from a long journey feeling hungry, when he requests for the maid to make him a hot meal Holmes undermines him by telling maid to make Watson a sandwich that will be nowhere near as filling as a hot meal. Although Holmes often appears to be above Watson he never investigates a case without Watson by his side showing that Holmes is dependent of Watson. "My dear Watson, you could confer a favor upon me by coming". Here Holmes is inviting Watson along with him as he does in all his cases, this too shows that Holmes does rely on Watson for his help and company. Doyle has allowed the reader to think of Holmes in many different ways due to his split personality and unconventional methods. Some readers may hate Holmes because of his arrogance whereas some readers may love Holmes because of his brilliance. I do not have a favorite story because do not like Sherlock Holmes. I find the cases too unrealistic and complex, I also think that the structure makes the stories too predictable. ...read more.

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