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Comparing and contrasting Silver Blaze and Finger Man

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Comparing and contrasting Silver Blaze and Finger Man When one thinks of detective fiction stories images of crime, murder, hero detective and villains enter a person's mind. These images have been constantly changing over years, but they are not very different from when detective stories first began in 1828. The birth of detective stories came about in 1828 with a novel called Memoires supposedly written by Vidocq a chief of France's detective force known as Surete. In 1841 a number of short stories were composed and collected to form The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe but it was in 1892 when detective stories finally emerged and become known by the people. It was in 1892 when The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was published in the Strand magazine that detective fiction had become a great success. The years of Sherlock Holmes stories are considered as the 'Golden Age' of detective fiction, after this authors began to take different approaches towards detective fiction writing, the writing was most notoriously named 'Hard Boiled' detective fiction. Both types of approaches varied in different ways with each other, the 'Golden Age' era consisted of stories with closed settings and focused its characters in the middle and upper classes. In the Hard Boiled era the plot would be mentally just as challenging as a story from the Golden Age era, but would unfold and lead to violent twists and turns. ...read more.


When I read both stories there were many differences in character between Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe. Sherlock Holmes is a more thoughtful and clue based detective where as Philip Marlowe relies on tip-offs and violence to resolve a situation. Sherlock Holmes is a methodical detective and relies in his wits to solve a case whereas PM uses his instincts. Within Silver Blaze Sherlock Holmes has a partner called Watson, the story itself is narrated by Watson and told through his view. PM is a one-man army and doesn't depend on anybody for assistance unless in dire circumstances. The change in text and dialogue is clearly shown once reading both stories. Pre 20th century text is very descriptive which is used as a feature of Holmes personality. In Finger Man the dialogue is very abrupt and direct, which also constructs an image of the stories setting and the characters persona. The dialogue and narrative probably the clearest and most noticed contrast between both stories. In the story Silver Blaze, the narrator is Dr. Watson who tells the events within the story as he interprets it. Although this story is written in first person, the first person isn't the main character. Watson describes the moment tells the reader about the surroundings, the mood and anticipating thoughts from Watson. Due to Watson's sideline he is always telling us Holmes' expressions trying to give understand what he is thinking. ...read more.


Marlow is an opposite. He takes risks that he has studied and thought about considerably before acting on it, but occasionally he acts on instinct making his behaviour unpredictable. Holmes is polite and sticks to the rules of the law. Holmes also can't resist explaining things, and he only speaks when he's ready, but when he speaks, he makes a long explanation. Marlow's conversations are fast, brief, and to the point. He speaks what is on his mind and doesn't care what other people think. Marlow seems more like a "tough guy", than a calm, composed detective like Holmes. Bending the rules is one thing Marlow doesn't really mind doing, he'll do what he has to do, to solve the case. If it means hitting another person, or shooting someone, he'll do it. The setting within the stories suggest stereotypical views of the surroundings and atmosphere giving the reader a whereabouts and extra dimension to the story. In Silver Blaze I imagined a dreary setting in the countryside, where it rains often and there isn't much form of transportation or communication. In Finger Man I in vision open top cars at daytime with the hot sun, but in the evening it is raining giving an eerie sense of things taking place. "...our rate at present is fifty three and a half miles an hour. The telegraph posts upon this line are 60 yards apart, and the calculation is a simple one..." ...read more.

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