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Exploring the reasons behind Sherlock Holmes enduring popularity

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Introduction

Exploring the reasons behind Sherlock Holmes enduring popularity Sherlock Holmes is an enduringly popular character and is so for many reasons. Conan Doyle's stories about the afore-mentioned detective have been popular for many generations and have made a large impact on literature. The stories even began an entire genre and stereotype. The influence of Conan Doyle's work can still be seen in TV and film today; it is because of this that it is important to understand the reasons behind this popularity. There are several reasons that Sherlock Holmes has been so enduringly popular. Some of the reasons for Sherlock Holmes' popularity are linked to the time the play was written; these give the play its original popularity and others more to do with Conan Doyle's writing talent which give them a more enduring appeal. Sherlock Holmes was first introduced to the public in 1886 in "A Study in Scarlet". He was introduced for entertainment only. The Victorian times weren't easy times to live in and the people needed some relief and entertainment, this is one of the reasons Sherlock Holmes was so popular originally. At the start of "A Study in Scarlet" we are introduced to another character before Sherlock Holmes, we are introduced to Watson. ...read more.

Middle

Sherlock Holmes' nature as a detective is important as at the time it was written London was growing and with it crime was growing too, people didn't feel safe. The Sherlock Holmes stories gave a sense of morality. Sherlock Holmes showed that there was still some good in the world looking out for the reader and that even in this growing London full of bad things there was still good, this idea gave the stories a lot of popularity. Sherlock Holmes' scientific background is also very important in terms of how the stories gained their popularity. Victorian society was a society whose faith in religion had been shaken; Charles Darwin had just written his book outlining his discoveries and theories, 'The Origin of the Species'. This had left a hole in people's lives where God used to be a good force protecting them. Sherlock Holmes could fill that hole. Science had over taken religion and had apparently taken over the goodness of God that was looking after everybody but Sherlock Holmes was another good force, one powered by science. He was working for the greater good and he was protecting the people of Victorian society, who where also his readers, he was by all accounts filling the God shaped hole. ...read more.

Conclusion

These memorable descriptive snippets add a more interesting and human side to the stories and stop them from becoming monotonous. There are elements of humour present in the 'Red Headed League' for example when Holmes says "A sandwich, and a cup of coffee, and then off to violin land, where all is sweetness, and delicacy, and harmony, and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums." The very nature of the 'Red Headed League' is humorous and once again this adds more to the entertainment value of the stories, giving them a comic relief factor. It is also a credit to Conan Doyle as he shows his wit and use of literary techniques such as irony to create humour. The modern reader can enjoy Sherlock Holmes as the stories are still entertaining even today, the stories are inter-active and many readers may enjoy guessing the results to the cases or pretending to be Sherlock Holmes themselves, these are just two reasons Sherlock Holmes is still popular today. In conclusion Sherlock Holmes is a very influential character that had an impact on Victorian England the results of which can still be seen today, as his popularity is still strong. Vincent Hale Sherlock Holmes Coursework Essay ...read more.

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