24/7 writing help on your phone
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories over 100 years ago. From the first novel, A Study in Scarlet (Beetons Christmas Annual 1887) to The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes published in 1927, Doyle’s Holmes and Watson were entertaining readers for over forty years, with their stories of Victorian crimes, and carry on doing so to this day. The serialized novels and the many short stories were published in the most popular magazine of the time, The Strand. Keeping weekly audiences hooked in the mythical and absorbing world of Victorian society, much of which was as alien to the middle class readers as it is to the modern readers of today.
Places like the Opium dens in The Man With The Twisted Lip were places that were ill frequented by the readers, and the exotic way that Conan Doyle described them, intertwined with a plot full of suspense keeps the reader on the edge of their proverbial seats.
The way that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle give the clues to the reader, means that the reader can really identify with Sherlock Holmes, and begin to see themselves are the leading man.
He does this by giving us, as the reader, all the clues that Sherlock Holmes gets, at the same time, and the only thing the reader has to do is work out what is happening in Holmes’ mind, following where the clues are taking him, at the same time as working out what the clues mean for themselves. All of this is geared up to make the reader get inside the mind of Sherlock Holmes, and want to solve the crime with the same determination and eagerness that has helped shape Holmes as a key figure in modern literature.
One of the reasons Doyle was such a masterful writer of crime mysteries, the “Whodunits”, was because he kept his readers brains working. The clues are all there for the reader together, subsequently solving the mystery themselves; making may of the modern readers pick the books up in the first place. One of the most obscure “crimes” Sherlock Holmes Had to solve was The Cardboard box, but this is one of the most straightforward to solve, as it presents al the clues in a very straightforward manner, all together as Sherlock Holmes deduces them. The way he describes everything to the finest detail when Holmes is opening the box, things like “a yellow, half pound honeydew box, with nothing distinctive save two thumb marks on the left bottom corner.” means that you as the reader can deduce of your own accord the conclusions Holmes says he made later in the story.
To ensure that the mystery itself is properly described, no detail is left out and this creates vivid images. The horrific details that Doyle puts across are not dampened in any way and this makes the story seem more believable. He goes to great lengths to describe everything so that a full picture can be constructed without leaving anything to the imagination. Whilst this is a fairly aggressive way of treating the reader, it ensures that he or she sees the story in exactly the right way. It also emphasises the feeling of trust for the narrator since he’s sharing so many details.
Since the details are so unbelievable in themselves, Doyle ensures that the storyteller, the engineer, tells his story rationally, which ensures its believability. An example of this is the opium den from The Man With The Twisted Lip where it is described in infinite detail from the smell to the sounds. “Out of the black shadows there glimmered little red circles of light…. Black lacklustre eyes” These very deep detailed descriptions all add to the atmosphere, the suspense and tension of the scene, urging the reader to go on with Holms and Watson’s adventures.
The opium den just mentioned is also a key area showing how the stories show the extent of Victorian society. Most of the stories were read by middle class Victorian workers, who would not visit an opium den, or know what it was like inside. These detailed accounts therefore gave them an insight in to the Victorian underworld, to which they would never have experienced otherwise. To the modern reader, it also gives much information about how the society worked, and the physical structure.
In The Man With The Twisted Lip” St Clair is found out because of his wife walking past the opium den. To a modern reader, it is odd for a respectable lady to have to walk through such an unrespectable part of ton that would contain Opium dens, to get to somewhere to collect a parcel, but we, as modern readers, can not comprehend such a small and intimate London, which at the same time was so far apart in its class boundaries. Like the fact teat most of the people in Victorian society would not believe that this middle class businessman in St Clair could possibly be the vagrant Hugh Boone.
👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!
Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.get help with your assignment