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

Introduction and Conclusion

Extracts from this document...


In What Ways is Sherlock Holmes the embodiment of Victorian Ideas of Progress? "You are yourself not luminous, but a conductor of light" The Victorian era was a time of great scientific advance, during which there were several scientific inventions and discoveries. Sherlock Holmes uses scientific vocabulary such as "a conductor of light," this shows that he uses scientific methods throughout the novel, therefore Holmes can be considered an embodiment of Victorian ideas of progress and can be compared to a scientist. Although the above quote is said by Holmes to Watson, it could be interpreted that Holmes is "luminous" as he illuminates the darkness in people's minds and crimes, such as the Hound of the Baskervilles that other, less scientific detectives are unable to. The reason that Holmes tells Watson that "you are yourself not luminous" may be because he believes that he is luminous. Holmes uses his clear and logical mind to destroy myths with his scientific method. He also uses forensic methods to solve complex crimes and mysteries, similar to a scientist. Holmes uses tools like a scientist to analyze data that he has gathered and so then he can deduce information from this and take important facts to focus on and solve complicated problems. Conan Doyle's creation, Sherlock Holmes, can therefore, be likened to a leading scientist such as Darwin, who attempted to destroy the Genesis theory using his idea of evolution. Many would conclude that the greatest and most significant scientific and mechanical breakthroughs, discoveries and inventions were uncovered in the Victorian era. ...read more.


This undermines the myth, but also undermines Mortimer. This is because Mortimer believes passionately in the Hound of the Baskervilles and Holmes tells him that it would be interesting to a fairy tales collector. From this quote alone, we can see that Holmes does not believe in the curse and that he thinks there is a scientific explanation for it. It is also interesting to note that Holmes does not focus on the hound, but on the owner of this dog. When he sends Watson to Baskerville hall, with Sir Henry Baskerville, he tells him to report back on "the relations between young Baskerville (Henry) and his neighbours." This shows that Holmes does not think that the hound is a supernatural phenomenon that is capable of working alone, but that it has a master who controls it; therefore he is suspicious of the locals. This also makes Holmes seem as though he is not a superstitious character, but a logical one. This is because he does not believe in the 'curse' that every one else does. Holmes does not only use his clear and logical mind to solve crimes, but he uses a wide range of forensic methods. An example of such method is when he uses typology. He uses this when Sir Henry Baskerville receives a note from an anonymous source saying "As you value your life or reason keep away from the moor." Holmes realises very quickly that the words have been cut from a newspaper and stuck on a piece of paper. ...read more.


This shows us that Holmes is not only a good detective, but that he uses methods similar to a scientists. This is because scientists work in the same manner, for example, they examine things, make a prediction, test their prediction and then use the results to draw other conclusions. This method can also be seen when Holmes is talking about threads which connect his case together and probability. In this particular example, Holmes is trying to ascertain whether the person who was following him in London was Barrymore, so he sends a telegram to be delivered into "Barrymore's own hands" and if Barrymore is not present, to send it back to London. Holmes also has a clear and logical mind as he has to juggle many different theories around and test them at the same time. This is shown when he says "We hold several threads in our hands...sooner or later we must come upon the right." For these reasons, Sherlock Holmes can be likened to a leading Victorian scientist such as Darwin; this is because they both destroy myths using a scientific method and also use forensic methods to help to destroy their theories they were concerned with. The tools that Holmes uses such as a "convex lens" also show that he uses a variety of different methods to solve crime. Using this information, Holmes can then use induction and deduction to solve complex problems and mysteries. Therefore, Sherlock Holmes can be considered for these reasons, an embodiment of Victorian ideas of progress. By Andrew Foley ...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. Sherlock Holmes Q1 corsework

    But he doesn't just do descriptions of rooms or places; in "His Last Bow" he writes "One might have thought already that Gods curse hung heavy over a degenerate world, for there was an awesome hush and a feeling of vague expectancy in the sultry and stagnant air.

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries women were not treated with an equal amount of respect as men and so by Holmes addressing Miss Stoner in that way, it is an example of how he is unique and does not think less of women.

  1. Sherlock Holmes - Development of Character

    A true to life example of the police force's incompetence is that the case of 'Jack the Ripper', that was never solved. Holmes has a decidedly inferior view of women. In 'The Speckled Band', when Holmes first encounters Miss Stoner, he treats her in a very patronising way; ""I shall order you a cup of hot coffee"".

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    In The Speckled Band Holmes voices the moral and philosophical standards of the time, that crime and evil must be eradicated, wiped-out and order must be restored to man-kind; 'Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another'.

  1. A view from the bridge

    To make matters worse, Beatrice seems to take Eddies side on the matter, seeming to aggravate him even more. Again thoughts of her entering the adult world. But are these beyond normal concerns? Another looming event is the arrival of the cousins from Italy, they are illegally entering America and

  2. What is is about the character of Sherlock Holmes that a Victorian Readership found ...

    After investigation, Holmes realises the only witness of the event is a dirty beggar with a twisted lip. Much confusion follows, in which everybody seems perplexed by the case. Apart from, of course, Holmes. After much deliberation, he finally reveals that the beggar is the husband himself, but in disguise.

  1. Sherlock Holmes

    Although on a personal level Holmes rarely seems avid, he can become quite fanatical when investigating a case, and seems determined to see justice triumph over misconduct. He appears to find some pleasure in his line of work, being particularly fond the rather ambiguous cases he specialises in, rather than

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    as they instantly get a feeling like something terrible is about to happen. "The wind was howling outside and the rain was beating and splashing against the windows", This is an example of pathetic fallacy; this sentence contains adjectives, showing negative signs like something is ready to happen.

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