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How do Sherlock Holmes and Tony Reseck reflect the eras in which they were written?

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Introduction

How do Sherlock Holmes and Tony Reseck reflect the eras in which they were written? The two characters whom I aim to compare are the heroes in two short stories, from the detective genre. One is Sherlock Holmes, the star of "The Speckled Band" and many other stories by Arthur Conan-Doyle. The other is Tony Reseck, a very different style of detective from Raymond Chandler's "Ill Be Waiting". These characters reflect the eras in which they were written. The reasoning behind this statement is that they were written for contemporary audiences. For this reason they will be the image of a fashionable, extravert person from that era. In this essay, I aim to investigate the characteristics of Holmes and Reseck, and find out how they are made to appear an enviable or interesting person from that time. The ways in which this can be achieved are vast, yet one of the major methods is the language, tone and accent that the hero uses. Holmes' language epitomises 1980's style. This is shown by the complex sentence structures he uses, and the proper and classy way he delivers these lines. ...read more.

Middle

This is because the authors have described their characters for the enjoyment of contemporary audiences - 1890's readers would like to read about a man with Holmes' status but 1940's readers would prefer Reseck's more seedy underworld. Setting and location are used to both complement the appearance of a hero and to exemplify their characteristics. Holmes' Baker street office is well furnished with a fire and even a servant. The average 1890's reader would aspire to this lifestyle, hence making the story more engaging. The environment in which Reseck works is in total contrast to this lavish lifestyle. He appears to work in a dangerous and crime ridden city, ruled by gangs and, most probably, fuelled by drugs. This would be incredibly interesting to the readers of Chandler's time, for similar reasons to those of the Holmes stories. The sleazy environment in which Reseck works is a world away from that of the average reader so they would be interested and intrigued. Due to these differing locations, the crimes that the two gifted detectives solve will differ greatly. Holmes deals with crimes committed by the aristocracy and other lords and ladies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, he does not have the same disregard for the money, partly because he is not so wealthy as Holmes and he does not so adore the job, although he does like it. He is unmotivated and not ambitious. His brother reflects on this when he says to Reseck, "you are in the slow lane." Both of these intelligent men obtain results through extremely different methods, as they are very different people from very different �poques. In summary, the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Tony Reseck were written for very different audiences. The 1890's audiences liked violent murders that were macabre, exotic and gothic. This is in contrast to the sophisticated, calm and meticulous Holmes. This contrast makes Holmes seem more appealing entertaining. In addition Holmes is the epitome of the upper classes, many readers would aspire to him. Therefore, his character has been shaped by the thoughts and desires of his contemporary audiences. In contrast, the 1940's audiences sought a slight more down to earth story, preferably in the sleazy gangland world. Reseck's character is built around that need, and he complements the plot with his appearance, accent and language. For these reasons, Holmes and Reseck reflect the eras in which they were written. They were designed for audiences of that time and their personalities reflect the time. Christopher Kurwie 03/05/2007 Q.E.G.S. - 1 - ...read more.

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