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Sherlock Holmes - Development of Character

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English English Literature Coursework Essay: Looking at 'The Speckled Band' and two other stories, comment on the way Conan Doyle develops the character of Holmes in the stories Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes' life is told by his closest friend Doctor Watson, who tells of the adventures of this most notorious of detectives, and his experiences throughout many diverse and complex plots. Sherlock Holmes is one of the most remarkable and memorable detectives of all time. Holmes is unlike any other fictional detective, in that, he regularly exercises a superior intellect and very powerful abilities to observe and deduct information; Holmes is famous for his powers of observation and deduction; ""No, but I observe the second half of a return ticket in the palm of your left glove. You must have started early, and yet you had a good drive in a dog-cart, along heavy roads, before you reached the station." The lady gave a violent start and stared in bewilderment at my companion. "There is no mystery, my dear madam," said he, smiling. "The left arm of your jacket is spattered with mud in no less than seven places. The marks are perfectly fresh. There is no vehicle save a dog-cart which throws up mud in that way, and then only when you sit on the left-hand side of the driver." ...read more.


Furthermore, she is well educated since, despite her apparent terror, she is eloquent and fluent in using long and complex sentences, featuring advanced and complicated language. This could be evidence that Conan Doyle supports the Suffragette movement and the of establishment women's right Conan Doyle has created a character that is so intriguing, complex and believable, that Holmes has become the archetypal representation of a detective; the stories have inspired many modern day crime fiction novelists who still use the basis that Conan Doyle created; Agatha Christie's Poirot famously features many ideas first used and created by Conan Doyle, such as the use of a secondary character to serve as a comparison to the main protagonist. His appearance also, with his pipe and deerstalker, has become a widely accepted depiction of a detective. Many detectives since Sherlock Holmes have copied his basic appearance, also being depicted as wearing a cloak and deerstalker, and smoking a pipe. Conan Doyle uses the aspect of Holmes appearance to reflect his character; Watson describes him as having a "hawklike nose". This comparison to a hawk suggests that Holmes is powerful, strong, and inescapable; Holmes is predatory, and he is hunting his prey. Further symbolism as to the depiction of a hawk is that large birds of prey are revered for their immense skill at catching prey, in a similar way to Holmes. ...read more.


Through Watson we see only what Conan Doyle wishes us to see, this then means that when the mystery is revealed, it is even more awe-inspiring, since the reader, along with Watson, were oblivious to what was such an elementary conclusion. Holmes has a very prominent duality that is obvious to us as a reader; ""It saved me from ennui," he answered, yawning. "Alas! I already feel it closing in upon me. My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so."" Holmes took drugs on a regular basis while he was not working; he used them to help him relax. Holmes detests being unable to occupy his ceaseless mind and reverts to drugs to give himself a distraction from his boredom. Since first appearing in the Strand magazine, the Holmes stories have been enjoyed by many readers. These stories appealed to the Victorians because they offered an escape from the crime ridden society they lived in. Holmes never failed to solve a crime and offered them moral certainty. Although in current society we are more competent at solving crimes, Conan Doyle's stories are still enjoyed as they are an entertaining, easy read for many modern day readers. I, for one, enjoy the old-fashioned, formal language used. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Gatehouse 10�2 Friday 1st May 2008 1 | Page ...read more.

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