‘The short stories involving Sherlock Holmes manage to successfully combine many of the classic ingredients of the detective genre. ‘ With reference to the FIVE stories which you have studied, prove this to be the case. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a man of great intelligence who was brought up to love books. Influenced by his father’s criminal work, Doyle produced his first ‘Holmes’ story in 1887. Sherlock Holmes was created by the amazing imagination of Doyle, with his ‘sidekick’, Watson. The great detective stories were very intriguing.
Doyle planned to end the series in 1893 but due to great public demand, resurrected his popular hero in 1903. The character of Sherlock brought hope to the Victorians as they disliked the police force. Crime rates were high and many of the police force were corrupt themselves. In 1892, at 221B Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes arrived and graced London with a hope of crime solving. Jack the Ripper was still walking the streets, killing women, leaving clues but yet the police were unable to catch him.
The mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, written by Arthur Conan Doyle, provided the people of London with a hope that one day Jack the Ripper may be captured and brought to justice. The role of women in the Victorian Age was very simple and limited. We have an example of a stereotypical Victorian woman in ‘The Speckled Band’. Helen Stoner had a “face drawn and grey” and her “expression was wear and haggard. ” She was a little lady, with not much spirit about her, who wanted the best in life.
Her position is society was very low compared to others among her. “In a month or two I shall be married, with the control of my own income”. Her stepfather had kept possession of all her money and was giving it to her when she got married. A Victorian would have been expected to do the chores and so on and Helen Stoner tells us “For a while we did the jobs”. The role of women was not exclusively stereotypical i. e. Irene Alder, who is known only as “the woman” to Sherlock himself.
Of course, Holmes was renowned for his “cold, precise but admirably balanced mind”, so the statement that “In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of sex” is somewhat unusual. Jack the Ripper was a deadly man that lived in the Victorian Age and this is a typical example of the crime that was being committed during that Age. Throughout the books, Doyle uses stereotypical heroes and villains. One good example of a villain is in ‘The speckled Band’. We are told of a tall dark man that wore ‘a black top hat, a long frock coat, and a pair of high gaiters, with a hunting crop swinging in his hand.
‘ Not only can you picture a villain straight away from the clothes, his ‘large face, seared with a thousand wrinkles, burned yellow with the sun, and marked with every evil passion’, his physical appearance was somewhat scary. The role of the police in the Victorian age, was looked upon by many as ‘nothing’. Doyle picked up on this and introduced Holmes as a character that dislikes the police(just as the Victorians did) and picked up on cases that the police had either dropped or thought unimportant.