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

What Is It About The Character Of Sherlock Holmes That A Victorian Readership Found So Engaging? How Do You Account For The Enduring Appeal Of The Baker Street Detective?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What Is It About The Character Of Sherlock Holmes That A Victorian Readership Found So Engaging? How Do You Account For The Enduring Appeal Of The Baker Street Detective? In this essay I will explain why the Victorians found Arthur Conan Doyles' Sherlock Holmes character quite so compelling and why the stories are still so popular today. Victorians will have found Sherlock Holmes' very interesting because he was an upper class educate4d gentleman and this was the sort of person who was very well respected in Victorian times, and they would also have loved how he solved all his crimes, because there police force were so unreliable. The stories are still so popular today because we modern readers enjoy the thrill of a mystery and the tension of a case, which Conan Doyle creates. In the rest of the essay I will analyse the structure of the stories, the social aspects of the stories and the character of Holmes himself. I will use examples and quotes from the stories "The Man With The Twisted Lip," "The Speckled Band," "The Boscombe Valley Mystery," "The Red-Headed League" and "The Noble Bachelor." In the 19th Century the Victorians views on many things were different. ...read more.

Middle

Modern readers, however, may find the structure of Sherlock Holmes stories a little clich�d. For example we now expect there to be blood gore and violent scenes, and a cliff-hanger ending in murder mystery stories, but Holmes always manages to get it right. If Conan Doyle had however put cliff-hanger endings and changed the structure around more often, the Victorians would have lost the feeling of security which they enjoyed. However there are occasionally some slight changes in the endings. For example the ending to "The Man With The Twisted Lip" is what we would call an anti-climax, because we think there has been a murder and a mysterious death, however there was no mystery, it was just a proud man trying to cover his tracks. This would appeal to the Victorians because in those days the middle-upper classes were very proud and the thought of an upper class gentleman begging for money was impossible, whereas we can understand the man's plight. Another anti-climatic ending is that of "The Noble Bachelor," where it appears that the mans bride has been kidnapped by the insane woman. ...read more.

Conclusion

Holmes is also quite melodramatic. He dramatises himself by being falsely modest and claiming to despise the attention he secretly loves. If Holmes was really modest, why would he get all his cases written down so they can be looked at again? This makes him seem odd again. Some modern readers may also find his character clich�d and unrealistic. The fact that he always solves his cases, rights books on all the right topics and some of the language used, e.g. calling each other by surnames, all could seem a little clich�d and unrealistic to a modern day reader, although the Victorians would have loved it all. In conclusion I think that the reason Sherlock Holmes stories are still so popular today is because they are very good stories in general and also they were the first type of "crime" stories. Another reason is the humour and mystery of the stories. The build up of tension and thrilling climaxes to the Sherlock Holmes stories make them very enjoyable to read. I think also however that some of the things Holmes does are today viewed a little unrealistic such as the writing books on tobacco, I think that is very farfetched. Overall however I think the Sherlock Holmes stories are a good read. By Liam Farrell 10SS Liam Farrell 10SS ...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. Book Review - "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes".

    the ghostly face at the window is actually the real Emsworth, protected by his parents, because of his suspected leprosy, which fortunately turns out to be only "pseudo-leprosy" or ichtbyosis. It is suggested that fear alone may have produced the white blotches - his mental state had altered his physical state.

  2. Exploring the reasons behind Sherlock Holmes enduring popularity

    is shocking, he is referred to as a kind of scientist and a cold person, very calculated in his nature. It is also mentioned that he beats bodies with a stick. As this is Sherlock Holmes character a typical Victorian reader may have been shocked by this and taken an

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

    is glad the fire is set so the lady can soothe in the warmth. Furthermore, in 'The Man with a Twisted' he frequently calls Mrs St Clair 'Madam'. This repetition adds emphasis on his politeness and gives him the expression of a perfect gentleman, thus is looked up at.

  2. Why do you think Conan Doyle's crime

    Many readers read Conan Doyle's stories with the ultimate aim of comparing wits with those of Sherlock Holmes they wanted to know id they could use the same clues he used to solve the mystery of the crimes, then as expect Sherlock Holmes would beat them at the game.

  1. Question: What features of Arthur Cannon Doyle's a story make them typical of the ...

    a problem strikes the calm atmosphere, drawing you into the story as you become more interlocked with the story line. All Conan Doyle's stories seem to share this factor making them typical of the detective genre. An example of, this would be in 'The Beryl Coronet' when Alexander Holder comes down the street like a 'madman'.

  2. How Society is reflected in Conan Doyle's 'The Speckled Band', (The Victorian background of ...

    Further the Victorians admired people who were thoughtful and planned carefully. We see from the opening of this case that Holmes is thoughtful and intelligent in his observations he says to Helen Stoner "I observe the second half of a return ticket in the palm of your left glove, you must have started early."

  1. Analyse the way in which Conan Doyle's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is designed to ...

    Consider some of the following examples of his particular traits of character: "I am no doubt indirectly responsible for [his] death, and I cannot say that it is likely to weigh very heavily upon my conscience." Talking to Watson at the end of The Speckled Band; and is there the suggestion that he has put himself above the law?

  2. What features of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories make them typical of the detective genre?

    For instance, in 'The Beryl Coronet' the coronet is kept in Alexander Holder's bureau. Also in grand houses there are a lot of separate, huge rooms, which could lead to a lot of things being hidden without the knowledge of other people living in the same place.

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