"Similarities And Differences Among Detectives, As Portrayed In The Hound Of Baskervilles And The Speaker Of Mandarin "

1132 words - 5 pages

This essays looks at how "The Hound of Baskervilles" and "The speaker of Mandarin" display that all detectives of crime share similar characteristics in both deduction and their attitude towards life.People that posses a high degree of intellect and focus on solving the quandaries and puzzles of life, often display common characteristics. Especially those that specialize in solving crime display this parallel. The portrayals of two great detectives of fiction - Sherlock Holmes, in The Hounds of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Inspector Wexford, in The Speaker of Mandarin by Ruth Rendell employ these characteristic traits. Firstly both Holmes and Wexford display enthusiasm. Secondly, both detectives display guile and recognize the situations that demand tact, and those that demand bluntness. While detectives of crime display similarities, they also display differences that enhance their individuality and uniqueness. In the case of Holmes and Wexford, while Holmes requires few comforts, Wexford displays extreme fastidiousness, and at times lets this quality impede his work.People of high astuteness often display a high degree of enthusiasm. Both Sherlock Holmes, and Inspector Wexford display such enthusiasm. Holmes's enthusiasm, resides in a myriad of aspects of his work. He gets amusement in astonishing his close friend Watson with his deductive abilities. Often, Holmes's "grey eyes danc[e] with amusement as they fall upon [Watson's] astonished features" (Doyle 106). He also displays this enthusiasm upon exposing the quandaries of his case - "Holmes leaned forward with excitement, and his eyes had the hard, dry glitter which shot from them when he was keenly interested" (Doyle 106). Holmes's enthusiasm during such moments of revelation often manifested itself in the form of body language - "Sherlock Holmes struck his hand against his knee with an impatient gesture" (Doyle 20). He also dramatizes moments of judgment for his conjectures. "Don't move, I beg of you Watson...Now is the dramatic moment of fate, Watson"(Doyle 6-7). In fact, Holmes's pervasive passion drives him towards solving mysteries. Wexford on the other hand, largely vests his enthusiasm onto things such as nature, sightseeing, and exploration. While sightseeing in China, Wexford realises that he did not "[visit] the university while there...he would certainly regret it, he would be sorry" (Rendell 20). The reactions that the sublime characteristics of nature bring forth from Wexford also portray his enthusiasm. "When he crossed his room and looked out of the window, the view was enough to dispel any speculations about man-mad things" (Rendell 50). Therefore, people who solve crimes often possess a sense of enthusiasm, as in the case of Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Wexford; but at the same time, the issues onto which they vest this enthusiasm varies, as in the case of Sherlock Holmes who displays enthusiasm towards his work, and Inspector Wexford who displays enthusiasm...

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