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How does Conan Doyle use Watson as a narrative device?

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Introduction

How does Conan Doyle use Watson as a narrative device? Conan Doyle wrote many stories about Sherlock Holmes, originally for a newspaper called the Strand. In the stories he uses a character called Dr Watson to tell the stories. Watson is Holmes's close friend and companion in solving the mysteries. Watson is very useful for telling the story because he is not quite as smart as Holmes. This helps Conan Doyle because Watson never quite knows what Holmes is thinking. Although Watson is a very smart man, Holmes's mind is completely superior. Another thing about Watson and Holmes's relationship is that although they are very close allies they are complete opposites. For example Watson has lots of friends and was once married, but on the other hand Holmes comes across to the reader as being a loner and doesn't have many friends. ...read more.

Middle

There he is all safe and sound. I must go now doctor." What this tells us is that Watson is a very smart man and is very highly regarded, so in theory if Holmes is smarter than Watson he must be a very smart man. Another way that Watson is used very effectively is how Watson sets the scene and builds suspense. We see a good example of this in the red headed league. "I placed my revolver, cocked, upon the top of the wooden case behind which I crouched. Holmes shot the slide across the front of his lantern and left us in pitch darkness." This quote is building up the atmosphere and also setting the scene at the same time. Watson can be used very effectively in this way, because Watson himself is scared it is very easy for him to mount up the tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

I surprised you by beating upon the pavement with my stick. In doing this I was ascertaining whether the celler stretched out in front or behind." This explains to the reader why he has done this strange thing. He also explains himself at the end of the Silver Blaze "...In examining his belongings I was fortunate enough to discover not only the method of the crime, but even the motives. As a man of the world, colonel, you know that men do not carry other people's bills round in their pockets. We have most of us quite enough to do to settle are own. I at once concluded that Striker was leading a double life, and is keeping a second establishment." Once again Holmes explains himself to Watson so its all clear now. ?? ?? ?? ?? 16/01/05 By Chris fairhurst ...read more.

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