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The Portrayal Of Gender, Ethnicity And Class In Two Of Arthur Conan Doyle's Stories

1505 words - 6 pages

The Portrayal of Gender, Ethnicity and Class in Two of Arthur Conan Doyle's Stories

Arthur Conan Doyle was a well known writer during the Victorian Era
and still is today. He was famous for his stories. One of his books
had a fictional character that caught people's attention. This
character is a spectacular detective, Sherlock Holmes. People loved
Sherlock Holmes so much because he always solves the case and always
defeat evil. In fact, in one of Arthur's short story, 'The Speckled
Band', Sherlock Holmes was described as "the Scotland Yard
Jack-in-office" and "the busybody!"

This period of time is called the Victorian Era because the ruler
during this time was Queen Victoria. There were a lot of crimes
committed at this time. Common ones were murder and drug abuse, which
were feared greatly by people. The life style of people in the
Victorian Era was different to everyday life. In the Victorian Times,
there were three different groups of people. These were the upper
class - rich and powerful people who don't need to work, middle class
- have to work to support but not physical work, and lower/working
class - poor people with no money and works physically.

'The Speckled Band' and 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' are one of
Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. This piece of writing is to show how
these two stories give the readers an idea of how people lived and
behaved in the Victorian Era and what people expected of certain
people because of either their gender, their ethnicity or their class.

In Victorian Times, women were treated differently to men. Women
within this time were considered to be very emotional. We know this
because in 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' when Mrs St Clair saw the
blood on a window, she "fainted at the sight of blood." The quotation
tells us that women were hysterical and they are not strong enough to
receive bad news because they'd sometimes break down. Another
situation that proves this is when Sherlock was being assured by Mrs
St Clair that if he answers her question, he should "not trouble about
my feelings. I am not hysterical, nor given to fainting." Also
informing the readers that, women knew their weaknesses and their
strengths. However, men in the Victorian Times always thought things
through. We know this because Sherlock said, "… the impression of a
woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical
reasoner." This let the reader know that men looks at the fact and
take time to analyse and observe things and they don't just jump to
conclusions. They thought they could handle situations for themselves
and don't need women's help at all. The readers detect this when Mrs
St Clair "…was escorted home…as her presence was no help…" We know
that Neville's wife saw everything and the police knew that she saw
her husband but still...

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