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

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

Extracts from this document...


Is Sherlock Holmes a Typical By-product of the Victorian era, or is he a Unique Individual? To the ignorant onlooker Sherlock Holmes is simply a clever detective amongst a horde of similar duplicates from various tales and myths of the crime-solving era. Sherlock Holmes is the culmination from a culture of detectives. Francis Eugene Vidocq, a "Holmes" in the making, with an utter disregard for the official police, an ability to disguise himself, and clever plans to catch the criminals accompanied by an excellent knowledge of the criminal underworld. Lecoq, used science and his cleverness to solve his crimes. Dupin, a detective who possessed powers of deduction and reasoning. Conan Doyle used all these essential ingredients and through an ingenious metamorphosis produced the ultimate detective; the meticulous observer Sherlock Holmes. If we delve deeper into the infinite chasm of Holmes' character we reveal more about the enigmatic figure that masquerades inside his majestic exterior. The entwining, interlocking tentacles of Holmes' deceivingly simple demeanour knot together to conceal his true being. His character cannot be confined to the restrictive boundaries we use for one and another. His character is far more complex and intelligent than his middle class placement in Victorian society would like to divulge. Conan Doyle created a character, blessed with gifts of deduction, intuition and a genius ability to solve crimes. But in forming this wonderful concoction he thus morphed many other sides to Holmes, seemingly oblivious to his adoring followers. He formed an untouchable creature, unable to feel emotion and passion. "He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer" Emotions would only make Holmes weaker, and Sherlock Holmes did not do weakness. ...read more.


Victorians brought an entire new aspect to sexism, not only were women inferior to men, they were belittled and patronised by the overbearing, egotistical men they called their husbands. Marriage was a dictatorship, women had to wait on their husbands day in day out and heavens forbid they actually think for themselves. The unaccountable factor being, that these poor incompetent women's brains had been infiltrated with the thoughts that they had a good life! They accepted their diminished position in society, and they welcomed it. In many of the cases, such as The Speckled Band, the misdemeanour involves a domination of men over women; typical of the Victorian era. In this case a blasphemous father is trying to gain money from his own daughters by wiping them off the scene. He goes to substantial lengths to make sure his murderous plot would not be discovered in a ruining revelation. His love of foreign animals played a significant factor, for Holmes who had to solve the case, which was brought to him by the last remaining daughter who had begun to suspect foul play. After the efficient "Holmes" inspection of the room where the first daughter was killed, he already forms his conclusions, and it never crosses his mind that his profound assumptions are wrong. He simply lays in wait and anticipates the glorious moment when he will be proved right and he can basque in the aftermath of his success. We are let into the secret, the father is using a rare poisonous snake to kill off his daughters, hence "The Speckled Band". His plan backfires when Holmes whacks the snake and it turns on its own master, DR. ...read more.


In this case there is less mystery for the reader of modern day times to try and solve before Holmes. John Openshaw and his family are clearly being threatened for some knowledge in which they hold. The threat however is from a sinister, enigmatic strange, who is using letters to inject fear into the Openshaws. Five dried Orange Pips sent in an envelope, with the initials K.K.K embossed onto the envelope. Upon receiving such a seemingly ludicrous omen, members of the Family have later died. Is the era upon hearing the initials K.K.K one will automatically associate them with the racial group, Ku Klux Klan. But these same initials had the John Openshaw so befuddled he sought help from Sherlock Holmes. This "mystery" Shows how times have changed and modernised since the Victorian era. Now the Ku Klux Klan is commonplace, in the Victorian era it was a rare whisper on the fluctuating wind. So whilst profiling Holmes I began to see the flaws in Doyle's mastermind. IN this day and age how could a drug addict have the intellect to solve crimes even the police couldn't. The idea of the super detective such as Holmes is idealism, not every case could be such a success, and it is plain naivete to think so. In the real world such a commodity is unheard of. In my opinion the reality of Holmes is a drug crazed egotistical being who happens to have a little cleverness. However, his character is merely fictional, and we can all indulge ourselves in his genius ability and logical reasoning. Holmes is the super hero of the detective world, and can inspire many young detective wannabes. There is no doubting he has become a household name and a literary legend. ...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

    For example when Watson entered the opeum den in "The Man with a Twisted Lip" whilst looking for his friend, Conan Doyle described the den as "A long, low room, thick and heavy with the brown opium smoke, and terraced with wooden berths, like the fore castle of an emigrant ship."

  2. Was Sherlock Holmes an Archetypal Victorian Gentleman?

    Holmes only rarely gives us insight into his religion and it is only discussed on a handful of occasions. However, this does not necessarily suggest that Holmes was without religion. It shows that Holmes' work ethos was to keep such views separate from his cases and instead of looking to

  1. Using the two stories from Sherlock Holmes write an essay on what you have ...

    and very good powers of observation ('The Speckled Band') (a story of a family Named Roylott . One of the daughters of Dr. Roylott had suffered from a suspicious death the previous year prior to her forthcoming wedding when she had been found dying by her sister she had given

  2. Brighton Rock and Sherlock Holmes: A Comparison

    Greene sums this up in the phrase that Pinkie comforts himself with, 'between the stirrup and the ground he mercy sought and mercy found'. Through this quotation Greene explores the hypocrisy of religion and the way the all-forgiving belief enables people to sin and expect God to forgive.

  1. How typical a villain is Irene Adler in the Sherlock Holmes story: A Scandal ...

    However, Holmes assumes that all women are soft and weak and explains that he knows she will do this because "all women do". Despite this, Adler isn't as typically masculine as the male characters in the Sherlock Holmes stories.

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    Conan Doyle creates a sense of atmosphere in The Speckled Band by initially creating a warm and cozy image. He enables the characters to set the atmosphere by them describing the warm fire and offering Mrs. Stoner coffee, he then changes the atmosphere quickly by Mrs.

  1. Sherlock Holmes

    The effect is that Watson acts as a foil to Holmes's brilliance as well as ensuring that, by Watson's lack of understanding, the reader cannot solve the mystery until it is explained by Holmes. Conan Doyle clearly adored Edgar Allan Poe as his short stories were modeled on his novels.

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    In 'The Empty house' he had to solve the crime because Holmes wasn't there because he had died in the previous story. In the majority of the stories he is portrayed as a person who shows a great passion for crime along with Holmes.

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