Coursework Question: Why is Sherlock Holmes stories still popular today?
In 1891, Sherlock Holmes was a character very much of his time and place, who appealed to British readers directly by confronting the messy, changeable world they lived in. It was the time in which science challenged long-held beliefs and the status quo was threatened by social and economic changes. Holmes was grounded squarely in Victorian London. The Victorian city of London was a city of startling contrasts and bustling industries. New building and affluent development went hand in hand with horribly overcrowded slums where people lived in the worst conditions imaginable. Physically, London could be a place of disturbing contrasts, a cosmopolitan city where the middle class drank tea in comfortable drawing rooms while epidemics of typhoid and cholera ravaged the squalid, which was seen in the man with the twisted lip at Upper Swanden Lane.
During the 20th Century Holmes was a great success because of his scientific way of thinking. He had many interesting and different characteristics, which he used to solve the crimes, and mysteries. One characteristic that Sherlock Holmes has is being very observant, he makes very detailed mental notes about items and objects, he sees things that others wouldn’t see because they don’t look as closely as he does. In the Red Headed League Holmes observes assistant of Jabez Wilson, he looks closely at his knees observing every detail and also in the Speckald Band when he observes foot marks on Dr Roylots Chair. This shows us how attentive he is in the surroundings. Another characteristic that Holmes possesses, is his ability to work out what has happened and how. In the man with the twisted lip Holmes figures out that the beggar Boone was actually Mr Neville St. Clair confirming us, that his ability deduces things is out of the ordinary.
A world city is a large city that has outstripped its national urban network and has become part of an international global system. They have become powerful nodal points for the multiplicity of linkages, and interconnections that sustain the contemporary world economies, social and political systems. The result is a new world system of cities acting as ‘organising nodes’. In other words, they ...
Watson is the accomplice of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Watson is one of the main characters & Holmes relies faithfully on him. This is seen when Holmes says “this gentleman, [Watson] has been my partner & helper in many of my most successful cases & I have no doubt that he will be of the utmost use to me in yours also”. This shows us that the bond is very secure.
Watson is willing to accompany Homes into grave danger, risking life and limb of achieving justice. We have seen this in the Speckald Band when they advance into Stoke Moran, the home of Dr Roylott, where Holmes says “Do not go to sleep, your very life may depend upon it, have your pistol ready in case we should need it”. Showing us the seriousness of the case.
Conan Doyle uses Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to create tension. Watson not being in the same league in brightness as Homes is not able to see what Holmes can. This shows in the Red Headed League when Watson asks “What did you see?” “What I expected to see replied Holmes. Another Quotation would be “Why did you beat the pavement?” where Holmes replies “my dear Watson, this is a time for observation”. All through the story of the Red Headed League, Watson cannot grasp the concept of what Holmes is thinking. This creates tension as well as suspense making the reader carry on flicking the pages to find the conclusion.
Watson is a perfect foil for Holmes. His relative obtuseness makes Holmes deduction seem more brilliant. This is seen when Watson starts asking question at the end of Red Headed League. “How could you guess what the motive was” Holmes replies back with a long detailed explanation in order to highlight various features he possesses, making him seem more luminous.
Conan Doyle cleverly also uses Dr Watson & Sherlock to narrate the story. This is seen in Red Headed League when Watson starts asking question at the end. “how could you tell that they would make their attempt tonight?”. Where Holmes replies answering the questions the audience are eagerly awaiting to hear.
Running head: CHILD OBSERVATION Child Observation March 25, 2009 Child Observation Background The child observed was a five-year old girl that I will refer to as Catherine. Catherine is a highly gifted child. Her physical development completely corresponds to that of the average. The girls head size approximately equals to an adults head size. The body is also approximately that of an adults. ...
Conan Doyle used dialogue in The Speckald Band, the Red Headed League and The Man with the Twisted Lip. The dialogue was used as an effective technique in luring the readers imagination and also creating tension. In the Speckald Band dialogue was used to show many things of the characters, and also give a hint on solving the investigation. One dialogue which caught the reader’s attention was when Dr Roylott started to threaten Holmes “I am a dangerous man to fall foul of” This shows us that this man is capable of anything as he has already committed murder.
Conan Doyle also used Dialogue to achieve lots of things. He used it to speak about a person character, giving you an insight into their personality, & also to establish relationships and convey emotions which are important in understanding the context in which the story has been set. This seen in the Red Headed League when Homes says “It is quite a three pipe problem, and i beg that you won’t speak for me for fifty minutes”. Showing us that Holmes is in command even after they both like each other equally. This is what makes Sherlock Holmes so successful, putting piece by piece like a puzzle to create a blossoming picture.
In the three stories I read, the Speckald band, the Red Headed League and the man with the twisted lip, Doyle created similar introductions by using the same formulae but varying them. In the Speckald Band we are introduced to the problem by Helen Stoner, while in the red headed league Jabez Wilson is slowly opening up the story, and in the man with the twisted lip coincidently Watson finds Holmes in the same investigation. Doyle’s formulae was to introduce the detective and the culprit early on, make the detective use rational and scientific methods in solving the crimes and unveil the culprit at the end to create the perfect mystery story.
In the Speckald Band the setting is used to narrate the story. The main character that is described is Dr Roylott, the villain. He lives in a village called Stoke Moran, which seems to inject a feeling of tension and uneasiness. I believe Conan Doyle used this name to create a tense atmosphere to ‘help’ the reader dislike Dr Roylott and this feeling is helped by the fact that the Doctor keeps wild animals on his grounds. The red herring is used here as there were wandering gypsies also on the grounds to distract the reader from the real culprit; Dr Roylott.
Social Irony in Connell’s Short Story “The Cage Man” Irony can be defined as a double significance which arises from the contrast in values associated with two different point of view (Leech and Short, Style in fiction; 223). The most usual kind is that which involves a contrast between a point of view stated or implied in some part of the fiction, and the assumed point of view of the author, and ...
While the setting in the man with the twisted lip, Doyle gave a hint to the reader that this place has something connected to the investigation. Upper Swanden Lane was a vile alley where only bad guys lurked. This was also the place where Neville St.Clair (Missing Occupant) was last seen by his wife.
In the Red Headed League the setting was of the essence. Doyle used it to shape his story. The setting was vital as the story was based on a bank robbery.
From the three stories I read we learn the criminal from the beginning. Doyle creates a picture of the person in your imagination. In the Speckald band, Dr Roylott was described as a big evil man “seared with thousand wrinkles, marked with every evil passion”. He describes every little detail of the person, slowly creating a picture on the readers mind.
In the three stories not all the villains are truly evil. In the man with the twisted lip the villain wasn’t evil. The effect it has on the reader is that they understand in an investigation violence doesn’t have to take place. This was one of the reasons Conan Doyle was so successful he understood this when creating some of his stories and still now they are popular.