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

"The Man with the Twisted Lip," "The Final Problem," and "The Empty House" all by Arthur Conan Doyle, give a full understanding of each story and try to give a good idea of why these stories are still as popular today as they were 100 years ago.

Extracts from this document...


Friday 23rd October 2003 Wide Reading Assignment - Sherlock Holmes This assignment is based on three Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle which are, "The Man with the Twisted Lip," "The Final Problem," and "The Empty House." The aim is to give a full understanding of each story and to give a good idea of why these stories are still as popular today as they were 100 years ago. I will explain this by discussing some of the characters and taking into account the social and historical context. Sherlock Holmes stories are all quite different in their own way because they explore different kinds of crime and characters. Such as in "The Man with the Twisted Lip," where they are trying to solve a suspected murder and in "The Final Problem" they are trying to catch 'Professor Moriarty' for various crimes. These three stories do have some similarities, which are that Sherlock Holmes always solves the crimes and is always the main character. They also involve Dr. Watson, a doctor, who seems to be Holmes' companion in solving these crimes. Arthur Conan Doyle has created Holmes' character very effectively as in that period in history crime was rife in London and the public were scared and thought the police force were not protecting their community as well as they should. So because Holmes didn't work for the police force and always solved the crimes then he seemed to be like a hero to the public and maybe their fantasy because he kept people safe and they probably wanted so much for him to be real. The readers of Sherlock Holmes in Victorian England showed so much interest that when Doyle tried to end the stories of Sherlock Holmes by killing him in "The Final Problem" there was a public outcry and Doyle even received death threats because they wanted so much for him to carry on with this character that had caught their attention so vividly. ...read more.


I think, Watson, that if we drive to Bakers Street we shall just be in time for breakfast." "The Final Problem" was probably one of the most effective stories in that time in history because it is when Doyle tried to kill off Holmes and the readers were horrified. This story starts off with Watson writing a journal about the events that happened between Holmes and Professor Moriarty before they fell off the cliff. This story seems to give quite a different light to Holmes as you may be able to see in this extract when Watson states, "You are afraid of something?" And Holmes answers, "Well, I am." Holmes usually seems confident and in this story he seems to be scared of something. Even Watson sees a difference in his behaviour as this quotation shows: "There was something strange in all this. It was not Holmes's nature to take an aimless holiday." Holmes asks Watson to accompany him on a trip and goes on to tell him about the story of Professor Moriarty. Holmes describes him as being a man of "good birth" and "excellent education," so he seems to be a very intelligent man, but a man who uses his education to do criminal things. Holmes seems really worried as this is probably the most superior criminal mind he has ever had to face and he is not just worried for himself, he is also worried for the people of London. We can see this from the following extract: "I could not sit quietly in my chair, if I thought that such a man as Professor Moriarty were walking the streets of London unchallenged." Holmes seems to be overwhelmed by the intelligence of this man as he uses his mind and skills to be very dangerous. He used to be a professor, but he had a "criminal strain" that ran in his blood, which was probably the cause of his behaviour. He also has "cunningly devised" safeguards so he doesn't get caught. ...read more.


I think the simile he has used in this quotation is very imaginative and he gives me a good understanding of what the room is like. I also found in each of these stories, that Watson seems to be narrating them, which I found quite strange because I thought that Holmes would more than likely be telling the story, but then I thought Doyle may be using Watson to give the reader a full view of Holmes himself from another person's perspective. Conan Doyle always wrote crime stories. This was probably because they were so popular and caught the public's attention so vividly. I think that some of the reasons why these stories are so popular are because they are short stories so they are more accessible to the reader and don't make them feel as though they have to read a whole book. Also the language doesn't seem difficult, so the reader would probably not have any problems understanding it. In Victorian England the art of conversation was somewhat different to our modern day society. People of that time in history would not have used slang or colloquialism, so the form of these stories is Standard English. These stories are also very descriptive and have strong characters, which I think, help to intrigue and sustain the readers' attention, even in modern day society people still enjoy a good crime drama, which is shown because of all the different movies and programs such as, Columbo and Inspector Morse. I found these stories quite easy to read. I have personally enjoyed reading these stories and I can see why they are so popular and I think they will probably be very enjoyable in years to come. All of these stories have a little mystery in them and I think that is one of the main qualities that are needed for a good crime drama because it makes them interesting and I personally love mystery in a story. ...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. Why was sherlock holmes so popular?

    detective to himself and does not agree with his, sometimes irregular, methods. 'He is not a bad man, though an absolute imbecile in his profession' this is an interesting quote by Holmes, as he displays an almost arrogance towards the police force and towards this particular officer, Jones.

  2. How does Conan Doyle present the character of Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories

    to solve the case, maybe because it's too hard or that we don't look at the case from different aspects. The use of Watson is portrayed also as a major development of the crime genre helping develop the way the people consider the police force, but is the combination of Holme's deductive skills and Watsons persistence that is vital.

  1. An analysis of 'The Lost World' by Arthur Conan Doyle

    He is known for his furious rage and his shocking theories. When there is a quest, usually there is always person going on the quest to try and disprove the theory. In this novel, it is Mr. Summerlee who is the skeptic.

  2. Sherlock Holmes Assignment:

    However, Sherlock Holmes is by the most well known of all his detective characters. Many people would find it extremely hard to believe that the incredible adventures of this world famous detective have remained even more popular than ever, especially one hundred and seventeen years after the first thrilling tale, A Study in Scarlet, was published in 1887.

  1. Why are the Sherlock Holmes stories still popular today?

    The narrator is Holmes' associate, Watson. Dr.Watson is the middle man between Holmes and any of his clients and he is woken by Holmes in the early hours of morning to see their distressed client which is Helen stoner. The entrance of Helen Stoner is dramatic and adds a sense of mystery to the story because she is dressed in black and heavily veiled.

  2. Discuss the character of Holmes, the construction of the stories and why the stories ...

    his mind would go for days, and even for week, without rest..." Due to this extreme dedication, he completes his objectives effectively and efficiently. Hence, the immortal figure and the eagerness for his position, awards Holmes a very positive effect on the reader.

  1. What are the Key elements of the early crime fiction genre as exemplified by ...

    A Red Herring is a misleading clue. It seem as though it is helping you forward in discovering it, but actually it is leading you in a completely wrong direction. The largest Red Herring is probably the 'Red-Headed League'. When we don't know anything about it we believe it to have deep and sinister ulterior motives.

  2. What has made the detective stories of Sherlock Holmes so popular over the ...

    This was followed by 'A Sign of Four' in 1890, but didn't really take off and grab the public's attention until Strand magazine (newly founded in 1890) published a series of short stories called 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes'. From then on, the public loved reading of Holmes and his always reliable confident John Watson, a retired military doctor.

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