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In this course work, I attempt to discuss how the lead characters are portrayed in the following two detective short stories:1. The Second Bullet by Anna Katherine Green2. A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Introduction

Wider Reading English Coursework In this course work, I attempt to discuss how the lead characters are portrayed in the following two detective short stories: 1. The Second Bullet by Anna Katherine Green 2. A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle Both stories are set in the cities. "The Second Bullet" was published in New York in1915, and "A Scandal in Bohemia" was published in London in Victorian England in 1898. In general, detective fiction stories involve a main character who is a detective and he or she is hired to solve a case that involves a crime such as murder, theft, blackmail etc. Both stories fall under this category and therefore are detective fictions. Let me first go through both stories very briefly. The first story is "The Second Bullet" by Anna Katherine Green. Her detective is Violet Strange. A man named Hammonds and his baby are killed. The police assume the man killed his own baby by strangulation and shot himself. During the investigation the neighbours tell the police they heard two shots. However, the police find only one bullet and that is in the man. The police cannot find the second bullet. Violet Strange starts her investigation after police leave. ...read more.

Middle

The lead character in "The Second Bullet" is Violet Strange who works for a detective agency. "Owing to some remarkable work done by the firm of --&--, the well-known private detective agency, the claim made by Mrs. George Hammond." She is young, beautiful, and feminine, comes from an upper class family and well to do. "But you are so young and so--so--" "............Miss Strange was invariably the society belle........." "Simplicity again, but the simplicity of high art--the drawing-room of one rich enough to indulge in the final luxury of a highly cultivated taste, viz.: unostentatious elegance and the subjection of each carefully chosen ornament to the general effect." However, the life as a young woman entering the society is not enough for her. She craves for an action that a woman of her class will not dare to go for; criminal investigation. It is unusual for a woman of such refinement to be in the role of a detective in the 1915's America. As for her personal traits, she is independent, confident, unemotional and determined. She is thorough, very intelligent, has the skills of perception to solve crime, and solves the crime herself. Unlike Holmes, she does not enlist any outside help. ...read more.

Conclusion

No. The sum is a good one and I could use it but I will not waste my energy on a case I do not believe in. Description, action and dialogue are main ways in which characters are revealed in stories. Both stories have a fair amount of dialogue and talk among the characters. We learn more about Holmes' individuality and character merely by following his conversation with Dr. Watson. Non-dialogue description of thoughts and feelings are somewhat limited in the Holmes story. The syntax used in The Second Bullet is a very complicated upper class form, which is informal. For example "Husband and child both taken from her in a moment; and now, all means of living as well, unless some happy thought of yours--some inspiration of your genius--shows us a way of re-establishing her claims to the policy voided by this cry of suicide." In "A Scandal in Bohemia" the syntax is simple in comparison and therefore is easily readable and recognizable. Both the writers have clean language; not vulgar or bad language now used by popular authors. I enjoyed reading both stories. One more line about A Scandal in Bohemia" that I believe only reflects the attitude of the male author, which I personally cannot accept. "A married woman grabs at her baby; an unmarried one reaches for her jewel-box" This may be relevant to good old Victorian days but not now! ...read more.

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