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Sherlock Holmes: Explore the reasons behind the enduring popularity.

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Introduction

Paul Macaulay Sherlock Holmes: Explore the reasons behind the enduring popularity. One of the main reasons for the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes from the time it was written to the present day was the way that all the stories were told through the eyes of Dr. Watson. This showed how incredible Sherlock Holmes was when his own powers of deduction could see a lot more clues and evidence from the same hat as we the reader could see. Also with Watson being the narrator, we are kept in suspense as to what the final outcome is, Holmes can often know this from a very early stage but Watson and the reader still needs him to explain it to us. This leads to a great final scene that often involves conflict between Watson, Holmes and the villain. From Watson's accounts of the mysteries, we can try and interpret the evidence in our own ways and like Watson try to be an amateur detective; this just builds up adoration for Holmes' great work. When these stories were being written, there was a massive increase in the population of London, which caused a great increase in crime in the city, as the small police force couldn't deal with them. This encouraged a renewed interest in the detective genre that successfully showed the two different sides of London. In several mysteries there is a great aspect of humour, this is shown in two major ways. One of them is the story lines, some of them are totally ridiculous, and the other is the incompetence of the police force. When the original Sherlock Holmes stories were published, each mystery was split into several issues and then released in "The Strand Magazine" this increased the suspense as people had to wait for the next part of the story. All the stories already have a significant amount of suspense as only Holmes is aware of what the crime is going to be, with each mystery split up into several issues, the further increases the tension in the stories. ...read more.

Middle

This is impeccably shown in "The Blue Carbuncle" when Watson merely states "But you are joking. What can you gather form this old felt?" when Watson says this to Holmes, the response that Holmes is able to reply with in uncanny. Holmes says, "The man was highly intellectual and he was fairly well-to-do within the last three years. He had foresight, but has less now than formerly, pointing to a moral retrogression, which when taken with the decline of his fortunes, seems to indicate some evil influence, probably drink at work, his wife has ceased to love him." Holmes continues to go on and then talks about both the man's lifestyle and how recently he has had his grizzly haircut. He also says that the man has tried to retain some self-respect as he has blotted some ink on the hat to try and hide away the worn areas of felt. When the lesson of deduction from Holmes has ended, there is often a visit to the site of the crime or mystery. There is an example of this in "The Red-Headed league" Holmes and Watson go to the pawnbrokers that Mr Jabez Wilson owns in order that he can see the assistant who Mr Wilson has talked about so perfectly. Holmes figures out their plans as soon as he realises that it's feasible to dig a tunnel form the pawnbrokers, all the way to the bank that is on the other side of the square. The prolonged wait for the assistant to answer the door signals that he has been digging and when he appears with dirty knees, all of Holmes' original assumptions prove correct; this backs up how accurate his powers of deduction could be. After the scene has been set by Holmes' visit, there is a graphic exposition of the crime that has been committed. It often involves Holmes explaining what has happened to the victims, Watson and the reader in great depth. ...read more.

Conclusion

Conan Doyle uses repetition to imprint the scene on the reader so they won't forget it. He also uses repetition in the climax of "The Red-Headed League," "Formidable gate" is repeated several times to create the effect that the scene is guarded like a fortress. For the modern reader to continuously like the Sherlock Holmes mysteries there are several great appeals for the modern reader to still read the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, one of the main points is the amazing character of Holmes himself. His powers of deduction would still be as strong in the modern world as they were when his mysteries were written. I think the modern reader can understand Holmes needing some time alone because the rigours of modern day life will make people also need some breaks so they can understand why he needs these periods of silence. I believe that people still like Sherlock Holmes today because of the weird and wonderful cases that he has to solve, they are totally unfeasible and that makes the reader feel intrigued by the story lines and want to read what strange things will happen in the next story. The amount of suspense that is caused will always make the reader want to read on. In the way Holmes describes his cases to Watson at the very end of each case, this entices the reader to keep reading until the very end so they know how the mystery happened. When the reader first reads the story, they feel like they have to read on because of the story structure, hearing about the distressed victim and what has happened tempts them but they know they will have to wait to see the results. This makes the reader want to carry on reading the book and not just put it down. I think that the Sherlock Holmes stories will continue in their great success as the key points to the story will never become less important and they will always stay intriguing to the reader, who simply can't resist to read on with the story. ...read more.

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