An Analysis Of The Detective Genre

1809 words - 7 pages

An Analysis of the Detective Genre

Sherlock Holmes, is a fictional yet convincing character created by
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. With plots bizarre, singular and tantalising,
Doyle has created of one of our most popular genres.

The heroes in the detective genre often display the best of human
qualities, and are aware of the idolised role they have been placed in
by their closest companions. In the adventure of The Speckled Band the
hero, Sherlock Holmes, reveals his concern for his clients and
comforts the victim by informing her, "You must not fear". This
allows, the reader to understand the distinction between the emotional
and professional side of his occupation. During the same conversation
Holmes' phrases such as , "I am all attention" indicate his
conscientiousness and professionalism. His powers of observation are
able to pinpoint a minor flaw in appearance to which others are
oblivious, "all comprehensive glances" and "I observe the second half
of a ticket". Holmes conveys his equanimity, when threatened his
reaction is to chuckle "heartily" and only is insulted when he is
associated with the, "official force". In doing so he warns his
opponent that intimidation is not enough to put him off. Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle has created not only an idol but a hero respected by those
who know him best for his wit, his methods and his amiable character.

Heroes in the modern day version of the genre come from many
backgrounds and cultures. This new variety contrasts the Victorian
stereotype of a strong and witty character such as Sherlock Holmes. In
The Devil's Foot and The Man with the Twisted Lip the hero, Holmes is
again portrayed as both judge and jury. Holmes is, "without rest"
until a clear picture of has formed in his mind and he is ever,
"looking at it from every point of view". In The Man With the Twisted
Lip, Holmes dresses incognito unrecognisable to even a close
companion. This is a typical characteristic of modern detectives such
as the film Ace Ventura Pet Detective (1997). Ace Ventura, a ruthless
but comic pet detective is in the mind frame of Holmes himself and
will do what it takes to solve a crime. This shows that the
determination of Holmes has not been forgotten a hundred years on to
modern detectives. Holmes is no different to the modern day detective
but is an example of what the society expected of a person in such a
profession over a period of one hundred years ago.

In nineteenth century detective fiction, perhaps as a reflection of to
the society in this period, the villain has been labelled in most
cases as a male or outlaw. A strange appearance in their attire and
their features would be enough evidence for speculation. In The
Speckled Band, from the description of the villain the reader can
immediately recognise a trend in the appearance and attire, "a huge
man" with, "a thousand wrinkles" and "bile shot eyes". He resembled,
"a bird of prey". How easily Doyle helps a reader...

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