• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In What Way Is Sherlock Holmes The Embodiment Of Victorian Ideas Of Progress

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In What Way Is Sherlock Holmes The Embodiment Of Victorian Ideas Of Progress? "I had no keener pleasure than following Holmes in his professional investigations, and in admiring the rapid deductions, as swift as intuitions, and yet always founded on a logical basis, with which he unravelled the problems which were submitted to him." The Victorians valued 'professional' scientists that were able to make 'rapid deductions' to solve mysteries and to research new medical cures. The Victorian era was full of new discoveries and new thoughts and theories that changed England and the world. Darwin's Theory of Evolution, Fleming's discovery of Penicillin, the Industrial Revolution, and Joseph Lister's invention of Chloroform, are just a few examples of world-changing occurrences in the Victorian era. Holmes is like a scientist in many ways. He too uses forensic methods of investigation like a scientist, and also uses scientific tools, such as a convex lens. Holmes unravels myths with his 'swift intuitions,' like many other scientists of the time, such as Darwin. Holmes was created by Conan Doyle at around the same time as Darwin was putting together his Theory of Evolution. Holmes is an embodiment of the Victorian era's preoccupations and reflects with the scientific advances made at the time. He uses methods and equipment that are similar to that of a scientist and is a good representation of a real-life scientist. Holmes is able to make quick deductions in order to solve any problem brought to him, a trait that all great scientists possess. ...read more.

Middle

Holmes uses his knowledge of science for the good of the people and never uses it to injure or cause hurt. In contrast to this, Stapleton uses his knowledge of science to create evil, in this case to ensure that he inherits the Baskerville fortune. Only a scientist, like Holmes or Stapleton, could work his way through the Grimpen Mire. This is why Stapleton can hide the hound in the mire, without being fearful that someone may find it. I believe that the Grimpen Mire is a metaphor of an equation or a scientific experiment; you have to work your way through each part to eventually reach the ending and the conclusion. Only a scientist would use this method and that is the reason why Holmes is able to discover where the hound is hidden. The scientific revolution of the Victorian era is conveyed by Arthur Conan Doyle in The Hound of the Baskervilles. In the novel, Arthur Conan Doyle discusses phrenology in one scene with Dr. Mortimer. Mortimer discusses Phrenology with Holmes. Phrenology was a new scientific development - the study of the skull: "I promise doctor, that you could tell the skull of a Negro from that of an Eskimo?" Holmes has a number of interesting methods to help him dissolve the myth brought to him, and to help formulate a scientific conclusions, many of which involve new sciences like phrenology that I previously mentioned. ...read more.

Conclusion

Holmes 'weighs up every particle of evidence,' creates theories, and then balances them against each other. Finally, Holmes makes up his mind which points are of importance and which are not. Like Darwin, and many scientists like him, Holmes believes that scientific methods are the way to the truth. Holmes doesn't believe what the majority of people believe, but instead he finds the information out for himself, via logical thinking and clever gathering of intelligence. Holmes speaks acts and works just like a scientist, and appears to be a very clever man. Holmes is highly regarded by peers and colleagues - especially Watson - for his 'clear and logical mind' and his ability to make quick deductions. Holmes' calm and controlled manner, and the ability to recognize good and evil, are typical qualities of the people of the Victorian era. Victorians like Charles Dickens upheld family virtues and good overcoming bad, and Conan Doyle's characters in The Hound of the Baskervilles also epitomize this way of thinking. Sherlock Holmes was always open to new ideas, such as phrenology, and was able to progress with these new ways of thinking to come to a conclusion. He often questioned established beliefs. However, the Victorians were very conservative and restrained. Like Darwin, Holmes would question these established beliefs. Although they though like this, with time, people began to trust these new theories and began to question myths and certain established practices. The Victorians began to believe in scientific theories, so their ways of thinking changed. Jordan Dalby ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. Analyse Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles" exploring how the author uses the ...

    It seems that women characters in the novel are heavily reliant on men. An exception to this is Mrs. Barrymore as she somewhat controls her husband and she seems to be in charge. The fact that her brother the convict Selden is heavily reliant on her also shows that she is a stronger woman.

  2. To what extent are chapters 5 and 6 of Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles ...

    On one hand, there are the inhabitants of Dartmoor and the moor itself which represent or contribute to the supernatural element of the novel. On the other hand can be seen Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, the two detectives which represent or contribute to the logical and scientific reasoning of the book.

  1. Is Sherlock Holmes a Typical By-productof the Victorian era, or is he a Unique ...

    In this classic narrative Mr Wilson, the stereotypical ignorant victim is used as a long-suffering pawn in a game of cruel political chess, he is obliviously trapped in a criminal masterminds scheming plan to gain his revenge on society. The 'red headed league' is an exuberant ploy to keep Mr

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    This also shows the class structure in the Victorian era and the social attitudes at the time. Jabez Wilson is described as 'obese, pompous and slow'. Holmes is shown to think of himself very highly and superior to others in The Red-Headed League; ''It saved me from ennui,'' he answered

  1. Sherlock Holmes

    This sentence introduces Dr Roylott as a unlawful, therefore he is easily a suspect as his bad history reflects his bad character. It also shows in the story that she did not have a happy life living with her stepfather as he was not a very pleasant man.

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    Moreover, from the story point of view it means that the client will have faith in Holmes. Doyle has the reader view Holmes through the eyes of Watson because if it was always Holmes telling the story the reader would look at the crime from one point of view and before the end would know the answer.

  1. Introduction and Conclusion

    Although the Victorian period was an era of scientific revolution, it was also an age of mechanical development, for example, one of the most famous engineers of all time, Brunel lived in this age. Brunel was most noted for his revolutionary bridge designs and his design of train lines throughout the country.

  2. Hound of the Baskervilles

    case is bogging him down, just like the mire does to all its victims. The setting, the atmosphere and the plot all combine to create a very successful story. The setting of the moor and the dark, mysterious and dangerous atmosphere create a perfect horror setting for the story to be based in.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work