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Arthur Conan Doyle's Novel Scarlet: A Study Of The Character Sherlock Holmes

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Literary Analysis Essay

Literature deals with personality and psychological aspect of the character created by the author. Sherlock Holmes is an eccentric character in A Study in Scarlet, the first series of detective story which introduced him. The characterization of Holmes that has been attributed by the creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is very strong.

A Study in Scarlet is told by the first-person point of view, Dr. Watson who then becomes Holmes mate in solving mysteries. Dr. Watson, the observer of Sherlock Holmes eccentric actions and methods, represents the readers who seek for story which triggers curiosity and ended with satisfying logical explanation. Sherlock Holmes was a character born in 1887, the time when 28 years ago Charles Darwin stated his theory of natural selection. Doyle himself wrote, London was a city consisted of suburbs, unemployment, and slums, that nearing the extreme phase of century-long urban explosion because no one knew how to control it. Due to this curiosity, people were pleased to be amused with logical deduction by Holmes in explaining the criminal cases. Holmes is arrogant, omniscient and self-absorbed, obsessive, and loves the truth. He not only has wonderful clarity but also, an extremely sympathetic character. Although the author doesn’t place Sherlock Holmes as the hero who is kind-hearted or a guy fighting for justice, he simply has a high sympathy towards people. He shows it towards Jefferson Hope, the culprit in this novel, by listening his revenge story for murders he’d done.

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Most of all the differences from other characters arises in his deduction thinking and behavior. This arouses astonishment not only for the characters being examined in the novel, but also gets the reader’s attention by deducing people by just only looking at the clothes or the characteristics of person figure. For example, the time of meeting Holmes and Watson. “How are you? he said cordially, gripping my hand with a strength for which I should hardly have given him credit.” “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”( , ) Dr. Watson’s mind was eager of curiosity of how the new individual in front of him knew that he was in Afghanistan. The author then presents the explanation of the science of deduction to influence the acceptation from readers. Although, besides intensifying the eccentric behavior of Holmes, Watson’s point of view helps to build the story restricting the suspense of the mystery to not disappear.

At first impression we could draw that all characters have the same image and agree that Holmes is an eccentric man. Although unlike Watson who finds him interesting, Stamford defines Holmes’ eccentric personality inimically. He thinks that Holmes is queer in ideas slightly different from common people or of those accepted by this society. This making it clear, Holmes has such a complicated personality when time to form emotional bonds with others. Dr. Watson’s personality of friendliness and obedience perfectly suits Holmes’ character.

In conclusion, Holmes personality is examined in A Study in Scarlet and Watson and Holmes: Study in Black which leads to the discovery of his eccentricity combined with his great intelligence as the source of appeal. Because his distinguish personality and his intelligence to deduce facts, Sherlock Holmes becomes the favorite detective which makes people amazed by his faculty. In addition related to the social acceptance of eccentric personality, Holmes represents that regardless his eccentricity the society could accept him as long as he contributes and plays a positive role.

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