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Comment on the way Conan Doyle uses the character Watson

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Introduction

LOOKING AT THE SPECKLED BAND AND TWO OTHER STORIES COMMENT ON THE WAY CONAN DOYLE USES THE CHARACTER WATSON IN THE STORIES. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are murder mystery stories based around a detective called Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr Watson. Dr Watson appears in the stories as Sherlock Holmes' sidekick. He is a well-educated gentleman. Watson is very loyal to Holmes and is proud to be associated with him and his work. Watson is very intrigued by Holmes and his work and we, the reader, also become intrigued. They first meet each other in the first Sherlock Holmes story "A Study In Scarlet" which was written in 1887, where Watson's "...respect for his powers of analysis increased wondrously". He shows great admiration for Sherlock Holmes and this reflects that between the author, Conan Doyle, and Professor Bell. Joseph Bell was a surgical lecturer who Conan Doyle used as a source of inspiration for Holmes character. He shows his admiration for Holmes in the story 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band', he tells us that he "...had no keener pleasure than in following Holmes in his professional investigations, and in admiring the rapid deductions, as swift intuitions, and yet always founded on a logical basis with which he unravelled the problems which were submitted to him". ...read more.

Middle

At the beginning we are informed of the characters involved and we know that Holmes and Watson are planning to visit a house in Stock Moran. We are aware of Ms Stoners problem. Watson and Holmes then visit the house where the tension starts to build as they wait in the dark bedroom. Once matters have come to a head Holmes reaches his resolution and explains the results/conclusion to Watson (and the reader) and then the story ends. They are structured in a way to create tension by keeping the reader in suspense for as long as possible before the plot begins to unravel itself. Conan Doyle uses Watson as a bridge between Holmes and the reader, to tell the story. The stories themselves are written retrospectively. Watson is also used as a structural narrative device; he often asks Holmes the questions that enlighten the reader as to what they are doing. It is for that reason the readers are able to relate to Watson. When Holmes tells Watson where they are going, what they are doing and for what purpose he is also informing the reader. In 'The Man With A Twisted Lip' when Sherlock Holmes and Watson are travelling to Lee, Watson and the reader are unaware of the purpose of the visit. ...read more.

Conclusion

Only the wealthy could afford to go on holiday to different countries at the time. Less wealthy readers would have enjoyed reading Conan Doyle's stories where Holmes visited different countries during his investigations. This would have allowed them to gain an insight to what other countries were like. At the time of publication televisions had not yet been invented and so the stories served as good family reading. In conclusion, Conan Doyle uses Watson for a variety of reasons. He tells the story and conveys information back to the reader. He serves as a structural narrative device as well as a character. He allows the reader to visualise the scenes and other characters by describing them in detail. If Watson didn't exist in the Sherlock Holmes stories and we read the stories from Holmes' view the reader would know the whole story line; there wouldn't be any suspense involved. We would probably find the stories quite boring and I feel they wouldn't have been successful as they still are today. The Sherlock Holmes stories were amongst the first detective genre and they were certainly the most famous. I think most people must have heard of Sherlock Holmes throughout their life. To this day people still believe that Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are historical figures who really existed and helped the police solve crimes. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sasha Jones The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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