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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?

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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.

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