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The lives and values of Victorian society represented in "The Man with the Twisted Lip" and "The Speckled Band"

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Introduction

Daisy-Lee Raymond "The lives and values of Victorian society are represented in the short stories you have read." The Man with the Twisted Lip The Speckled Band Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", in 1892, about Sherlock Holmes, his famous detective. Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859, and was a known as a keen pigeon-lover. He studied medicine there and eventually served as a physician in the Boer War, and many other battles. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his first Sherlock Holmes tale, A Study in Scarlet, in 1887. He was so successful in his writing that he gave up his career as a physician only five years after the creation of Sherlock Holmes. He wrote a total of fifty-six short stories and four Sherlock Holmes novels over forty years. The stories are realistic representations of the moral and cultural settings of this period of the Victorian era. The nineteenth century is known as the 'Victorian era' due to Queen Victoria ruling between 1837 and 1901. Many changes came about during this period in Britain, and many discoveries were made. Inventions such as the steam train made travel more common, and journeys easier to pursue. There is evidence of this in "The Speckled Band", when the daughter of Dr. ...read more.

Middle

As it was believed that men should care for and look after the women, and when Kate is confronted with the idea of returning her husband from an opium den it is shown in the story that this is not what a woman should be doing, "How could she, a young and timid woman make her way into such a place, and pluck her husband out from the ruffians who surrounded him." It was seen in these times that a woman of her class should not be expected to venture into such a place, and saw it as morally wrong for a gentleman to let her do so. Upper class men were expected to be stereotypical 'gentlemen'. They were to be courteous at all times and especially respectful of women. Sherlock Holmes showed himself to fit the idea of a gentleman. In "The Man with the Twisted Lip" whilst addressing Mrs St. Clair he is polite, "Frankly then madam I do not. Please don't be frightened." Gentlemen were also expected to be morally strong, and uphold their appearance of knowledge and wisdom constantly. The job that Sherlock Holmes has relates to this idea of strong morals and makes him be seen as an upstanding member of society throughout the stories. ...read more.

Conclusion

Neville St. Clair is described as, "A good husband, an affectionate father, and a man who is popular with all who know him." This is indicative of the Victorian view of him as a gentleman within society. When discovered of busking illegally St. Clair is unlike Roylott when founded of criminal offences and wants to hide his shame from publicity. Whereas, in "The Speckled Band" it is Roylott's daughter who pays using her saving to save her fathers' name from public humiliation rather than Dr. Roylott himself, "It was only by paying over all the money that I was able to gather together that I was able to avert another public exposure." Sherlock Holmes is seen to reassure the readership as, I believe, the stories are purposefully true representations of the Victorian era. By using familiar scenes, characters and beliefs of that of the upper class Victorians I feel that they would have a sense if relief with a character like Sherlock Holmes to reassure them, especially with rising crime rates. I also feel that the popularity of the stories are also due to this. The use of realistic settings, and also by setting it in the period of the time, the stories seem very 'real' and seem to depict stories of cities in that time, with upper class reading these stories they would have felt encouraged by these stories that they were 'safe'. ...read more.

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