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What Are The Main Pleasures For The Reader When Reading Sherlock Holmes Stories?

1590 words - 6 pages

Callum Mclarty 11JR 4/3/2008
What are the main pleasures for the reader when reading Sherlock Holmes Stories?Arthur Conan-Doyle has created one of the most famous characters in the world, and invented an entire stereotype. He has done this by creating stories with compelling locations, engaging characters and complicated plots with many twists, turns and red herrings. His stories give the reader lots of pleasure in many different ways, and these will be explored and analyzed in turn.Some of the enjoyment from a Sherlock Holmes story comes from the genre, crime fiction. At the time of Conan-Doyle's writing's the new and exciting genre of crime fiction was just blossoming. Another notable example of crime fiction from this time is Agatha Christie's Poirot Like most of the literature of the time, it was full of formulaic plots and stereotypical characters. People were attracted to the "apparently" formulaic simplicity of crime fiction, while the twists and turns of the plot often confused and disorientated the most diligent reader. Much of the crime fiction that may have inspired Conan-Doyle were based in context. In the Victorian times there were much higher levels of crime and the police force was a lot more incompetent than now. This may not be solely down to lack of skill, but also to the lack of modern day technology available The public were in need of a hero to solve any crime, and Conan-Doyle filled the niche. A modern example of this is the fictional superhero Batman.Another reason for the attractiveness of crime fiction is the voyeuristic pleasure derived from reading about people carrying out criminal acts. By suppressing their "Id" and acting instinctively, people can ignore the rules that society sets down on how we must act and behave, this is very interesting to read and may explain why crime fiction is still a very popular genre today.Nowadays crime fiction has become more varied and more interesting. Now, it often branches out into suspense, thriller and romance fiction. This has become necessary because people now require more stimuli and have shorter attention spans. Some examples of this are the wildly successful Dan Brown stories, Brown intertwines complicated crime plots with action and romance in a way which is much more extreme than the Sherlock Holmes Story, but not too far removed from.One of the main ways Conan-Doyle created pleasure for the reader is through the relationships between the characters, especially through the unusually close relationship between the two main characters of Holmes and Watson. In the wider context of the 19th century, homosexuality was illegal and men were expected to be stereotypically "strong and silent" and a "lone wolf". Conan-Doyle make a point of introducing characters which are very different from the stereotypes of the time, an example of this is Irene Adler in a Scandal in Bohemia. She is (seemingly) smarter than even Holmes and succeeds in outsmarting him, by introducing a character...

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