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Outline and Discuss the characteristics of a Sherlock Holmes story.

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Introduction

Outline and Discuss the characteristics of a Sherlock Holmes story. Sherlock Holmes, the great detective, has become one of the best-known characters in British fiction. Created by sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes has been featured in over fifty stories. In each of these stories Holmes is praised for his amazing ability to solve crimes by the process of careful observation and logical deduction. Each of these stories possess common characteristics which in turn make it recognisable as a Sherlock Holmes story. In this essay I intend to outline and discuss these characteristics based on four Sherlock Holmes stories 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band', 'The Blue Carbuncle', 'The Musgrave Ritual' and 'The Reigate Puzzle'. Firstly all Sherlock Holmes stories are written in first person narrative, in the form of a biography by Holmes' friend Dr Watson. In the Musgrave ritual Sherlock Holmes states this 'before my biographer came to glorify me'. This kind of narrative gives the stories a factual feel even though it is purely fiction. ...read more.

Middle

Holmes responds in a passive manner taking his friends advice 'Holmes shrugged his shoulders with a glance of comic resignation towards the colonel'. This shows that their relationship is very respectful; this is common in all of the Sherlock Holmes stories studied so far. Usually a Sherlock Holmes story takes place in the country. Outside of London. For example 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' is set in Surrey as is 'The Reigate puzzle'. 'The Musgrave Ritual' is set in west Sussex. As the countryside is a remote place it much more likely to have mysterious 'goings on', as Watson states in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band'. Holmes refused 'to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual'. The detail in which the characters are described is also another characteristic. What each person is wearing, his or her body language and size is all taken into account in great detail. For example in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' Helen Stoner, Sherlock Holmes' client, is described as 'heavily veiled. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' When Dr. Roylott threatens Holmes by saying "Don't you dare to meddle with my affairs "in the reader can guess that he might be the villain in this story as he feels uncomfortable with Holmes' investigation. The clues laid out are very important to the stories. For example in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' there are several clues laid out which are vital to Sherlock Holmes solving the case. There was the 'dogwhip', 'ventilator', 'bell-pull' and many more in order for Holmes to solve the cases there must be an adequate number of clues therefore this is a common characteristic. Also a characteristic in Sherlock Holmes stories is that of a murder victim to give the case drama. In 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' it was Helen Stoners' sister. In 'The Musgrave Ritual' the butler Brunton and in 'The Reigate Puzzle' the coachman. In this essay I have covered the general characteristics of a Sherlock Holmes story all of which are common to all four stories mentioned. These characteristics have to be present in order to make the story recognisable as a Sherlock Holmes adventure. ...read more.

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