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What do you learn about Sherlock Holmes in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band'

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Introduction

What do you learn about Sherlock Holmes in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band'? During the Victorian era the crime rates soared, especially in the case of the infamous Jack the ripper. As a result of this the public lost a tremendous amount of confidence in the police. Not surprising then that the upper middle class character of Sherlock Holmes was very popular; it gave the public a sophisticated intelligent gentleman who ran rings around the police solving crimes which to the naked eye seems impossible. Nevertheless the eyes which had the impeccable knowledge for detail as well as the analytical complex mind could solve the most baffling of crimes. He is an experienced man of leisure who according to Doctor Watson takes of cases for the 'love of his art' rather than for the wealth available. From the opening of the novel Holmes is introduced as an intriguing character who 'refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual'. This suggests that Holmes is different from the norm of society and therefore possibly more competent to solve mysterious crimes. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps this is why he was so appealing to the Victorian audience. We further learn that Holmes has a wide reputation and that it has preceded him because he was recommended to Miss Stoner by a mutual acquaintance. Not only is Holmes logical and intelligent but he is very quick to interpret and assess the situation remarkably quickly which is ample prove of his intelligence. As soon as he interviews Miss Stoner he produces a note book to refer to an earlier case showing that he is meticulous in his study of crime and again he is in complete control of the situation. He uses the information wisely to provide framework against from which he can solve Miss Stoners case and not only does he learn form his previous experiences he also take notes to help him in the future works, which is another definitive example of him controlling the situation. Quite clearly he likes to be in control and likes to learn all he can at a given situation. 'My profession is its reward' this reinforces the earlier statement that he does this because of his job satisfaction. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although his confidence remains unshaken in this matter this further appeals to the reader by showing that Holmes is not intimidated by Dr. Roylott. Towards the end of the story it is clear that all of these qualities serve Holmes very well. At the end of the adventure, Holmes skills in deduction pay off . He solves the crime- and even though he comes to an 'entirely erroneous conclusion' he admits that it is due to 'insufficient data' and not his own skills. He may not be flawed as a detective, but the reader can detect here a certain amount of too much pride which Holmes suffers from. He manages to explain his way out of his mistake by using logic and deduction. In his analysis of the adventure, Holmes focuses only on his own skills and his own role in solving the mystery. This suggests that along with pride, perhaps he suffers from vanity too? In conclusion although it appears that he is a brilliant detective, he may be fundamentally flawed because he could be vain and egotistical. This is evidenced by the closing speech. ?? ?? ?? ?? Francis Runcieman SMH 26/02/06 Year 11 Coursework 1176 Words ...read more.

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