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Exploring the reasons behind the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes.

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Introduction

Exploring the reasons behind the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes At the time the Sherlock Holmes stories were written there was a large influx of crime, which was becoming uncontrollable, as the small police force did not have enough resources or men to cope with the sudden increase in crime. This started a new popularity in detective crime stories throughout London and Britain. The stories often involve a sense of the weaknesses of the police. In different stories, we see many police all working on the same crime as Holmes and yet none seem to get anywhere near as close to an answer as Sherlock does. In "The Man with the Twisted Lip" we see instances of Holmes showing greater intelligence than the police. Inspector Bradstreet says to Holmes, "I wish I knew how to reach your results". This shows us that even the police, the people that the public are meant to have faith in are astounded at Holmes' intelligence. His mind is one of incredible thinking and he impresses everyone who has heard of his crime solving feats. ...read more.

Middle

This is another reason why these stories are so popular. In all the stories we see a good versus evil plot. This battle between what is right and what is wrong make a story interesting. If there is a hero there is a villain. If something is hidden during the story it will be revealed at the end. We discover that, Boone is actually Neville St. Clair in disguise. No-one has been murdered in what we thought was a murder mystery. There has not even been any major crime. In "The Man with the Twisted Lip" Watson goes to sleep while Holmes stays up all night working out the answer. The ignorance of Watson and clear thinking of Holmes is contrasted with the drug addiction and confusion of those in the opium den. These oppositions create a good story, as it is needed if a story is going to be interesting. Although everyone knows Holmes is the cleverest of the pair and that Watson is his sidekick so to speak they each have a mutual understanding and respect for each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

These could have been anything but such is Watson's trust in Holmes he puts his life in his hands. This shows complete respect and trust for Holmes making him a very useful sidekick. This adds interest to the readers as they start to think, what if Watson wrongly puts his life in Holmes' hands and pays the ultimate price. The main reason for the enduring popularity of the Sherlock Holmes stories is the fact that we are constantly being kept in suspense as to where the story is going, what Holmes is thinking and how he can possibly solve the case. Eventually, what is clear to him becomes clear to us. As he says in "The Blue Carbuncle", "My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know." We know that he always solves the crime as this is classic realism yet we do not know how he comes to his conclusions until he explains. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories are popular because they make the reader think, this is a rare quality I have not found in books I have read and this is why I like these stories, because you keep thinking about them once you have put the book down. ...read more.

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