Sherlock Holmes and Watson Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 22 July 2016

Sherlock Holmes and Watson

In the book “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, the detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Watson were asked to solve a mystery. Although they were partners, they had very different characters. Holmes was intelligent yet arrogant and secretive, while Watson admired Holmes for his wisdom, observed Holmes and tried to learn from him.

Holmes was observant, intelligent and rational, while Watson admired Holmes, yet he was sometimes irrational too. In chapter one, they were examining a walking stick, and made assumptions about the owner. The walking stick contained teeth marks, and carvings of the initial of C.C.H. Watson saw that, and predicted the owner was a member of a hunting club, as H stood for Hunt. After Holmes carefully observed it, he found most of them inaccurate. C.C. stood for Charing Cross, which was a name of a hospital. So he concluded that C.C.H. stood for Charing Cross Hospital, where the stick was given to the owner when he retired from the hospital. Also, in chapter 4, Sir Henry received a strange letter, in which the words inside were all cut out in newspaper.(p.35) Watson couldn’t see the significance of the sentence, while the observant Holmes made many good assumptions from the letter.

He recognized that the words were come from the Times of the previous day observed from the kind of ink and paper. He could even conclude that the sender posed to be an uneducated man that the address was printed in rough characters, but Times were mostly read by educated man. Also in chapter 12 p.136, they discovered that Stapleton was the villain, and Watson was being irrational and asked Holmes why they didn’t seize him at once. But Holmes replied to Watson that they couldn’t prove that Stapleton did it, and they had to come up with a plan to capture Stapleton or else he might escape. From all the examples, it showed that Holmes was rational and careful in what he did.

Although Holmes was intelligent, he could be sarcastic and arrogant as well, but Watson was very humble and always listened to him. In chapter one, Holmes told Watson to examined a walking stick, after Holmes examine it himself he told Watson that he was incorrect. It demonstrated how Holmes enjoyed leading Watson on, letting him think he had the right answer, when in fact Holmes held the answers himself. It showed the arrogance of Holmes. On the other hand, Watson wasn’t jealous at all, and was very humble. In chapter 4, Holmes suddenly told Watson to get his hat and boots quickly, and Watson obeyed without knowing the reason. He always listens to what Holmes told him to do, trust Holmes’ judgment. But Holmes was still being sarcastic to Watson, ‘praising’ that he was the conductor of light, that he stimulated Holmes. In this situation, Holmes was actually looking down on Watson. But Watson accepted Holmes’ compliment as if it’s true.

Watson was the assistant of Holmes, but Holmes rarely gave reasons for Watson but instructions only. In fact he was secretive and careful. In chapter 13, Holmes was making a trap, and he used Sir Henry as the prey to capture Stapleton. He said to Sir Henry, “I think I will muzzle him (Stapleton) and chain him all right if you will give me your help. And I will ask you also to do it blindly without always asking the reason.” (p.143) This statement showed the way Holmes worked with other people. He asked people to do things without giving them reasons. The detail of the mystery wasn’t discussed until some time later after they left the Baskervilles.

Watson knew that Holmes wouldn’t discuss the details with him until everything was clear. Watson ‘had waited patiently for the opportunity, for I (Watson) was aware that he would never permit cases to overlap, and that his clear and logical mind would not be drawn from its present work to dwell upon memories of the past.’ (p.164) Despite Holmes was secretive, he had a reason for it. Before Watson went to the Baskervilles Hall to gather evidence, (p.57) Holmes told Watson to only report facts and he won’t share his theories and suspicions, not because he didn’t trust Watson, but because he didn’t want to bias Watson’s report. Holmes was a man with reasons and when he kept secret from Watson, it was because he was careful and wanted to solve the mystery with accuracy. Watson was sensible in the way Holmes worked, that he didn’t demand explanations until the mystery was solved.

In conclusion, despite the differences between their characters, they were very good partners and their differences helped each other in their jobs. Watson himself wasn’t that smart, but he stimulated Holmes by attempting to find out clues. Holmes used Watson’s mistakes to find out the truth. Also, Holmes could be a hard man to work with as he was arrogant, yet Watson was easygoing and had a good temper. Finally, Watson understood the way of Holmes’ working attitude and obeyed without reasons. Watson was indeed the perfect partner for Holmes, and Holmes was the leader that Watson needed.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 22 July 2016

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