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What do your chosen three of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories tell us about English society in the nineteenth century? Discuss the appeal of Sherlock Holmes to the Victorian reader.

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Introduction

What do your chosen three of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories tell us about English society in the nineteenth century? Discuss the appeal of Sherlock Holmes to the Victorian reader. For my essay I have decided to study Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Speckled Band", "Silver Blaze" and "Final Problem". Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories were first published in the London magazine "The Strand" in 1892. All the stories were kept relatively short because they had to be published in the magazine. When the Sherlock Holmes story "The Final Problem" there was a large public out cry of shock and horror to the death of the character they had got very attached to over the last 5 - 7 years. His stories were of a detective genre. The Victorian period was mainly built on a class system almost pyramid like. At the very bottom there was the people who could not support themselves, e.g. Beggars etc. Further up there was the lower class that worked in the factories and could just about support them. On the same level of the lower class were the servants. The next level up was the Labourers who worked for/with the working class and upper classes. ...read more.

Middle

The house is having heavy repairs. We see that women where mistreated in Victorian times as Holmes says to Helen "you have been cruelly used". Watson shows that he doesn't think the same as Holmes by saying "You have evidently seen more in these rooms that was visible to me", Holmes corrects Watson on this by saying "Your presence might be invaluable", even though Holmes is very intelligent he may miss certain aspects of the case. He also insults the police by saying to them "Fancy his having the insolence to confound me with the official detective force", which he basically states that he is insulted to be working with the police. There are misleading facts added to the story, which lead you in different directions, for example "Were there gypsies in the plantation?" This makes you instantly think that the gypsies had done it. The atmosphere of the story changes throughout. It is mostly focused on the surroundings and emphasises on darkness, for example "A moment later we were out on the dark road" and "cry of a night-bird". "Silver Blaze" is set on the moors in the middle of Dartmoor. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was important that the police force were in able of solving crimes because Sherlock showed them up and proved all their predictions wrong. Each setting is to do with the class system, and seeing that middle classed and working classed people where the readers the settings usually where, Big houses in the country and to do with people in the higher classes. The victims are of these classes and are usually victims of people of a lower class or the same class as themselves, this makes it easy to relate to the peoples problems in the story. The crimes committed all include a well thought out story line and a twist, that nobody but Sherlock himself can see, this is what makes Sherlock Holmes so impressive. The way the stories are structured and the usage of words is some what different to the language we use today. The words are phrases are old Victorian English so at points they become difficult to read, but once you get into the storylines you seem to work out the old English and don't have many problems. It isn't hard to get into the very catchy stories. I think the Sherlock Holmes stories are well thought out and are very easy to get into, due to the extensively brilliant story lines and twists that they include. Harry Stephenson 10T 1 ...read more.

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