Posted by: sabinabw | October 4, 2010

Quick Question

I know this is kind of late, but last week while I was reading the Sherlock stories, did anybody else feel like Sherlock had already solved the case very early on, and was just taking us readers through the formality and process of an investigation?


  1. I think in some sense this is true. I get the feeling that although Sherlock likes solving mysteries he also liked the idea of showing of how clever he. For example in a Scandal in Bohemia he adopts all these disguises and uses props to create drama. My feeling is that is not enough for him to know the answer but that he needs to show out to Watson and to the reader how clever he is. I suppose this element of theatricality makes it more exciting than if Holmes immediately solved the case instead of dragging it out.

  2. Sabina,


    I think that this is how Doyle entertains the reader. We are carried along on the quest by Watson’s narration, and at any point have the ability to solve it ourselves with the information provided to us, or can wait until Holmes sees fit to reveal the answer.

    I also agree with the previous comment that it is a type of theatricality, and I would further this argument by saying that the use of this as a literary device is akin to the theatrical nature of Holmes himself.

  3. I think that’s a really interesting question. There is a lot going on in these stories and in the character of Sherlock concerning “genius”. Doyle makes Sherlock into a kind of genius, Sherlock seems to have a knowledge of things almost before they happen, he is also reclusive, and drug-abusing–two stereotypes of “genius” personalities. The problem is though in order to create a character that is unparalleled in terms of intelligence, the author is put in a precarious situation….

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