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Compare three of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, commenting on what makes them typical crime stories, and what we learn about the era they were set

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Compare three of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, commenting on what makes them typical crime stories, and what we learn about the era they were set. In this assignment I am going to compare three of Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories about Sherlock Holmes. The stories I am going to compare are The Speckled Band (1892) The Man with the Twisted Lip (1892) and The Empty House (1905). I am going to note the similarities and differences between the settings, detective techniques, language, characters and plots of the stories. The stories are interesting for many reasons. One of the reasons is the insight it gives us into life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Another reasons why Conan Doyle's stories are interesting is the relationship between the very clever and observant Sherlock Holmes and the sometimes inferior Dr. John Watson. Although each story has a different mystery and different characters relating to that mystery, there are three characters that progress through most of the stories; they are Holmes, Watson, and Professor Moriarty. The stories, although having different plots, are similar in many ways. One of the similarities is the fact that Dr. Watson narrates all the stories. Another similarity is the formal language used in the stories; all of the characters are either upper or middle class (unless they are servants) ...read more.


Even though Dr. Roylott had killed Julia Stoner and attempted to kill Helen Stoner, Holmes put himself above the law and waited it Helen Stoner's bedroom until the snake came. Holmes sent the snake back to Dr. Roylott's room and consequently Roylott was bitten by the snake and died. After the death of Dr. Roylott Holmes said '...I am no doubt responsible for [his] death, and I cannot say that is likely to weigh heavily upon my conscience.' Holmes is not afraid to risk his safety to get essential information for his investigations. In The Man with the Twisted Lip, Holmes sits in the opium den to find information from muttering drug addicts even though the Lascar has 'sworn vengeance' upon him because he has used information discovered there. Another time when Holmes risks his life to solve a mystery is in The Speckled Band, as Holmes and Watson sit and wait in Helen Stoner's bedroom for the snake to come through the vent in the wall. In my opinion Watson is quite a boring character. He seems as though even if everything else changes he will remain the same. When first reading the stories you feel sorry for Watson because of the way Holmes treats him. Watson isn't quite as quick on the uptake or as clever as Holmes but he is still very clever. ...read more.


A good example of where modern technology would have solved a lot quicker than Holmes did is The Man with the Twisted Lip. When someone is taken into custody nowadays, a DNA sample and fingerprints are taken from the suspects to identify them. If this had have happened in The Man with the Twisted Lip the police would have realised that Hugh Bonne was actually Neville Sinclair almost immediately. Conan Doyle's stories are very popular. They are thought of as classic crime fiction. Holmes and Watson make up the most famous detective duo in the world. Conan Doyle wrote the stories in such detail that you can imagine yourself in the scene, as if you are standing in the middle of a cobbled street or the grounds of a stately home alongside Holmes and Watson. Conan Doyle's stories are so detailed that when Conan Doyle went to Egypt the police there were using his stories as instructions for carrying out their investigations. The stories were so inspired and original that the ideas have been copied so many times in television soaps like 'Eastenders' and 'Dallas'. Another reason I think Conan Doyle has been so successful in his writing is because of the relaxed style. For example at the start of The Man with the Twisted Lip Watson's own wife calls him James instead of John! For whatever reason, the Sherlock Holmes stories are among the most famous detective stories in the world and thousands of people around the world read the stories everyday. ...read more.

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