• 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. The Sherlock Holmes stories are perhaps the most successful and enduring of all detective ...

    takes snuff, that he is a free mason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately.' Mr Jabez Wilson along with the reader finds this deduction incredible. We also see Holmes' deduction skills when in the story we hear of Vincent Spaulding.

  2. Sherlock Holmes stories. How has Conan Doyle made the stories engaging for the reader?

    He says 'I suppose ... that you imagine that I have been addicted opium smoking and to cocaine injections'. This shows that he has a dual personality. He is two sided, smoking cocaine then solving a mystery which is eccentric. Conan Doyle uses contrast in 'The Red Headed league' to represent Holmes, it states and 'extreme languor to devouring energy.'

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

    John Hare alone could have equalled." Furthermore, Watson compliments Holmes' master of disguise, "The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime." From this, we also witness Holmes' psychological skills for he deviously gets Irene to accomplish the job for him; Irene is manipulated in disclosing the photograph.

  2. Was Sherlock Holmes an Archetypal Victorian Gentleman?

    Holmes's uses these powerful skills throughout his cases and they certainly are one of the key reasons for his success. An example is when Holmes is faced with a client by the name of Violet Smith.

  1. Sherlock Holmes

    Suddenly, however, he started, tapped me on the shoulder, and pointed over the meadows.' His ability to withdraw within himself and to detach himself is reinforced with his preference for German music; 'it is introspective and I want to introspect.'

  2. What is is about the character of Sherlock Holmes that a Victorian Readership found ...

    However, reality was quite different. Instead of streets paved with gold, people who flocked to London found themselves living on streets covered in human faeces, rats and filth. Lack of public transport led to high density back to back houses which were built clustered around factories in which their inhabitants worked.

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