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How do you account for the popularity of Sherlock Holmes both when they were written and today?

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Introduction

How do you account for the popularity of Sherlock Holmes both when they were written and today? (Using The Speckled Band, The Engineers Thumb, The Red Headed League, The Blue Carbuncle and The Final Problem) When Arthur Conan Doyle created the Sherlock Holmes stories there was a massive effect of realism in them, which effected different people. This is because of his background, which came mainly from when he was at school. He attended a boarding school, which was connected to a Catholic Church. He attended church services although soon he became interested by spiritualism and even though he had this belief he still respected what he had been bought up to know in the Catholic Church. A main influence in Conan Doyle's stories was a teacher called Joseph Bell, he taught Conan Doyle and his classmates about observation and always paying attention. He used an example where he dipped his finger in some acid and then put that finger in his mouth. ...read more.

Middle

Conan Doyle created this sense of security for people by making Sherlock Holmes live in a local place, so he chose Baker Street, at the time this was a quiet, private house so people could believe this. Some people wouldn't worry about things because they thought Holmes was there to help them. Another thing that made Holmes seem really real was Conan Doyle would describe places in London in great detail including descriptions of buildings and how he could see into the distance. When Holmes fell over the Reichenbach falls people believed he was dead so they wore black armbands. One thing with Sherlock Holmes is that the criminal is always punished. It started in the Victorian and Edwardian times when people were confused about justice and then after Charles Darwin proposed the evolution theory, which made people thing God didn't exist. They had doubts that sinful people would be sent to hell to be punished by God, so they would punish them themselves. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Dr Roylott in "The Speckled Band" says "Don't you dare to meddle with my affairs" it brings on a sub-conscious thought that he is the villain in this story and it is quite the same in "The Red Headed League" when Holmes asks whether John Clay's "ears are pierced for ear rings" because if your ears were pierced back then you would be considered a well known criminal. There is a technique used here which keeps the reader interested right through the investigation and by guessing correctly would eventually make them feel proud of themselves. Another of the reasons that this story seems so real is because Doctor Watson was the narrator in effect and because in those times a doctor was a very well trusted so what the doctor said happened. He is shown as lacking the amount of talent and skill that Holmes has in investigating, which helps the reader to form a close relationship with Watson as most of the time he only knows what the reader knows. ...read more.

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