Sherlock Holmes Case Study

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Sherlock Holmes: The Guardian of British Domesticity Paper Title: Sherlock Holmes: The Guardian of British Domesticity Subject: English Literature Name: Srimanta Das Email: srimanta007@yahoo.com Address: 72/9 Shaikh Para Lane, Shibpur, Howrah, West Bengal. Pin Code-711103 Mobile: +91 9830540259 Scholars of the Sherlock Holmes canon have agreed unanimously that Arthur Conan Doyle had begun writing fiction to supplement his income from his medical profession. Actually when the immortal characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were created he was under considerable economic strain. However, the detective did not come to his rescue immediately. In fact, his first two works, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, achieved moderate success.…show more content…
It will not be wrong to assume that Doyle was not really concerned about them as the British society was not really threatened by intrusion of the natives. Doyle was more concerned about the British who have been corrupted by the colonial experience as they were capable of causing far more damage than the foreigners. In this paper, I will analyze three stories involving characters who have spent considerable time in three separate colonial territories and show how their experiences have influenced them to become criminals. In the first story, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, the character in concern is Dr. Roylott who has been in India and has acquired a pet which helps him in murdering one of his two step-daughters and attempting to murder the other one as well. Holmes’s timely intervention saves the life of Roylott’s younger step-daughter, Helen Stoner. In the second story, The Adventure of the Gloria Scott, Trevor Senior’s tainted past in Australia is the source of the mystery in the story. In the third story, The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot, a poison acquired from Africa by an explorer plays a major role in the crimes committed. However, before attempting to analyze the influence of the colonial territories on British subjects it is important to take note of the fact that British colonies did not share similar characteristics. As a consequence, Australia influenced the British in a…show more content…
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is a case in point. Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species had already made the British aware of the connection between the humans and the animal world. The British considered themselves as holding the highest point in the ladder of evolution and, for obvious reasons, considered the natives as closer to the lower animals. The association between the natives and animals served to justify the need to colonize them. In The Adventure of the Crooked Man, Doyle, himself, mentions a mongoose acquired from India and in A Sign of Four, he mentions a tribal from the Andaman Islands, Tonga, who is more a monster than man. Jennifer Fraser says, “Doyle’s portrayal of Tonga as primitive, animalistic and frightening is illustrative of popular conceptualizations of foreign figures during the nineteenth century, as the British populace frequently looked upon the colonies with apprehension and fear after the advent of colonial insurgency.” (Fraser 20). The Revolt of 1857 clearly plays a role in the scheme of the story. Fraser notes, “Whereas the British had previously viewed colonial natives as innately subordinate and complicit, violent behaviors displayed within the Mutiny suggested that the ‘primitive’ nature of Eastern culture was intimately linked with criminal behavior.” (20) The reason for portraying India and the natives in that manner was probably
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