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

The Lack of Change in the Detective Genre.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Lack of Change in the Detective Genre Sherlock Holmes is the most famous detective in literary history. He was the first detective to solve cases by the use of deduction, not because the criminal made a mistake. This genre gained favour with many authors of the time, and spawned many other detectives, like Arsene Lupin and Hercule Poirot. How do these detectives compare to Sherlock Holmes? I will try and glean the similarities between short accounts of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, a Belgian immigrant who worked in the Belgian police force as a detective. I have noticed that the basic elements are present in both sets of accounts, which is suggestive, meaning that the genre hadn't evolved much over a period of 30 years. In fact, Agatha Christie, the author of the Hercule Poirot stories, stated in her autobiography that she had set out to emulate the content and writing style of the Sherlock Holmes accounts, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I will try and find these similarities, and also illustrate the lack of change that had occurred in the detective genre between the late 1900s and the 1930s. The most obvious point of comparison is the many similarities between the two main characters, the detectives themselves, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. The fact that both are most "colossally vain" and "self-obsessed", in Dr. ...read more.

Middle

He scoffs at all the others who "jump about, measuring footprints, interview people...". Holmes is very similar, in the respect that he has habits and methods that aren't orthodox, in every sense of the word. For example, he plays the violin "extremely well", takes drugs: "...cocaine sniffing was one of his vices", and is a decorated pugilist, who bends pokers that have been bent into a U-shape, back to their original form, to use one example. He also keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the tow end of a Persian slipper, and "his correspondence transfixed by a jackknife in the very centre of his mantelpiece". I think that the idea to make both detectives different from their conventional stereotypes was taken from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Agatha Christie. This would make the detective memorable to the reader, as the 'curious mannerisms' would make the stories stick in the memory. One such aspect of the two detectives is their superior powers of observation. Both sets of stories contain two very similar examples. In both cases, the detective manages to follow the thinking of their assistants though their actions and recent doings. For example, Holmes can follow that Watson will not want to invest in New Zealand bonds, as he has been playing billiards as he has chalk on his sleeve, and he only plays billiards with one person, and that person has recently invested in NZ bonds, and wants others to join him, but Watson hasn't asked for his checkbook which is locked in Holmes' drawer. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hastings also says that Poirot doesn't "give credit where it's due". They also think that vanity is a quality they do not possess, but through their accounts, show that they do. Both think themselves as equal to their great friends, but in a sense fall flat on their faces as, in Hastings' case, he is not ordered and methodical, and in Watson's, because he doesn't possess the powers of deduction necessary. There are still other clues to suggest that the detective genre hasn't changed much in 30 years. One such clue is the police detective, Lestrade in Holmes' accounts, and Japp in Poirot's. These two detectives are very similar to each other. Both are very methodical, following every lead, and "measur(ing) footprints and mak(ing) observations". They try to maintain a friendly relationship with the detectives and their assistants, sometimes enlisting the help of the assistants to gently poke fun at the detectives, using sarcasm and word-play to get a measure of revenge for the fact that the detectives are much superior to them, and have increased levels of deduction and observation. Both are, at various times, accused of not being logical, and not giving thought before giving chase. I believe that after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invented Holmes, other writers fell over themselves to create a successful detective based on the legendary pipe-smoking sleuth. Hercule Poirot was, I believe, modeled on Sherlock Holmes. These similarities between the two accounts show that the detective genre hasn't changed over the years. ...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. Question: What features of Arthur Cannon Doyle's a story make them typical of the ...

    Straight away we are alerted and, question why a madman is coming down the street. This engages the reader making them question what is happening. In 'The Speckled Band', when Helen Stoner comes to see Holmes unannounced and wearing black and a 'veil' over her face, we immediately become focussed

  2. Analysation of the detective genre, Sherlock Holmes

    the rise in city crime, and in particular the gruesome ' Jack the Ripper' murders. Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh on 22 may 1859. His academic ability was realised at a Jesuit School; Stonyhurst College in Lancashire. He then left for Edinburgh, to study medicine.

  1. Explore the detective story genre with particular reference to Conan Doyle's stories.Show it's social, ...

    Conan Doyle adopted Poe's formulae, cut his elaborate introductions, restating them in conversational exchanges between his two chief characters, and emphasised Poe's least realistic feature: the 'deduction' of astonishing conclusions from trifling clues. My essay is going to explore Doyle's narrative methods in 3 stories: * 'The Five Orange Pips'.

  2. Agatha Christie -

    She's the girl who has everything and the townspeople say she's got millions. Linnet's home is named "Wode Hall". It is said that she is going to marry Lord Charles Widlesham but Linnet had mixed feelings. One day, Linnet received a call from her oldest friend Jacqueline De Bellefort who wanted to come visit her.

  1. Relevant history & Business environment.

    He says the combined Jurys Doyle group enjoys occupancy rates of about 80% and the ability to achieve consistent room-rate increases. Jurys Managing Director Peter Malone is confident about the increased size of the group, which posts annual revenues of about IP140 million (US$190 million), will make it more attractive to investors and help the share price.

  2. The Lack of Evolution in the Detective Genre.

    This is an interesting contrast in the depiction of the two detectives' vanity. Doyle, through Watson's eyes, shows his idol, Holmes to be infallible, but shows Holmes' vanity in his criticism of Watson. Christie on the other hand, shows Poirot's vanity by creating a situation where he almost makes a fool of himself.

  1. An Analysis of the Detective Genre

    Ace Ventura, a ruthless but comic pet detective is in the mind frame of Holmes himself and will do what it takes to solve a crime. This shows that the determination of Holmes has not been forgotten a hundred years on to modern detectives.

  2. An analysis of the Detective Genre.

    Holmes's appearance does not follow the Victorian values. In stories written during the Victorian times every evil person tended to look evil. However Holmes description in A Study in Scarlet is; ' his eyes were sharp and piercing...his thin hawk like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision.'

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