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An Analysis of the Detective Genre

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An Analysis of the Detective Genre Sherlock Holmes, is a fictional yet convincing character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. With plots bizarre, singular and tantalising, Doyle has created of one of our most popular genres. The heroes in the detective genre often display the best of human qualities, and are aware of the idolised role they have been placed in by their closest companions. In the adventure of The Speckled Band the hero, Sherlock Holmes, reveals his concern for his clients and comforts the victim by informing her, "You must not fear". This allows, the reader to understand the distinction between the emotional and professional side of his occupation. During the same conversation Holmes' phrases such as , "I am all attention" indicate his conscientiousness and professionalism. His powers of observation are able to pinpoint a minor flaw in appearance to which others are oblivious, "all comprehensive glances" and "I observe the second half of a ticket". Holmes conveys his equanimity, when threatened his reaction is to chuckle "heartily" and only is insulted when he is associated with the, "official force". In doing so he warns his opponent that intimidation is not enough to put him off. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has created not only an idol but a hero respected by those who know him best for his wit, his methods and his amiable character. Heroes in the modern day version of the genre come from many backgrounds and cultures. This new variety contrasts the Victorian stereotype of a strong and witty character such as Sherlock Holmes. ...read more.


In this case the sidekick is the source of information for the reader. He puts forward his curiosities, which Doyle has cleverly known should be similar to the readers own, but when asked for his verdict a he answers simply, "I cannot think" or "I cannot imagine". The Speckled Band depicts how the sidekick idolises the hero, "I had no keener pleasure than in following Holmes" and his friendship is, "intimate" with Holmes. This is evidence to the reader that there is a mutual trust between the two. The sidekick plays an essential but hidden role of providing the story and clues to the reader. Although he does not solve clues but assists with the case, without the character a vital piece of the information from the story to the readers would be missing. The sidekick in modern detective genre contrasts the sidekick in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. In the Sherlock Holmes mysteries Doyle has purposely created Watson to be unaware of the clues in order to strengthen Holmes character. Modern detective fiction tends to bring out the strengths of the sidekick. In the TV detective comedy "Randal & Hopkirk Deceased" the character Geoff has two sidekicks. One, a ghost of his old partner Marty and the other Genie, Marty's widowed wife. Genie, while others thinking that she is a sweet lady are mistaken and surprised at her skills to attack. Marty can walk and listen to confidential conversations. Unlike Watson, Genie is not just a sidekick she is an equal in the business and not in a lower position to the main detective. ...read more.


Even Doyle has settled for them as the reader can see that male characters were not often the victims in his stories. Modern detective fiction shows how the victims are not always women. In present day detective genres the victim could, as easily be a powerful wealthy male. This contrasts the victims in The Speckled Band. As the role of women has changed over time it has also changed the stereotypical view of them in fiction such as this. In modern stories the victims are less stereotyped and it is these changes that have led to benefit societies perspective whereas The Speckled Band and Twisted Lip had only women. The fact that women are not assumed to be the victims in the modern detective genre is a major contrast to earlier detective fiction and has improved the view of women to which others take. The new role of women can be proven in the TV series, "Randall and Hopkirk Deceased" as one of the detectives, Genie is a woman. Although it has taken a hundred years, time has successfully altered the role of women. Whilst comparing modern detective fiction with the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I have learnt that time has transformed from the prescriptive possibilities for ingredients essential of a detective genre. Such ingredients have been altered by a change in society opinions on various matters from the discrimination of gender to stereotyping characters. From observing fiction such as comic or dramatic I have found that the techniques and plans originate from Holmes himself have nevertheless stayed the same. ...read more.

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