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

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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.

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