When someone enters the schooling system, you would expect most books you read to be either informative or have some sort of significance to a lesson you are currently being taught in class. Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” does not meet any of these expectations at all. For starters, the entire plot of the story is borderline unrealistic almost like it came straight out of a “CSI” episode. How often do people cut off the ears of their wife and her lover and send them to their sister-in-law? I haven’t heard of too many cases where people’s ears are chopped off in love crazed hysterical revenge. Along with the unrealistic nature of the actual crime, the impracticalities continue when Jim Browner, the villainous sailor husband, openly admits to his crime and even gives all the details and explanations to Sherlock Holmes when he confronts Browner about it. Again, very rarely to people completely confess to their alcoholism and drunken crimes to a detective when he asks them about it. Besides the fact that the majority of this story is unreasonable, there is also no moral lesson or educational meaning that you could possibly remove from the context. It is basically a read for fun kind of story not a school appropriate one.
Doyle presents a very well written, mysterious, nonfiction story, but his story is limited by this same nonfiction creativity. Back to the fact that most of his story is incredibly unrealistic is a major factor in the way his story is restricting to the scholarly reader. There is nothing to be learned from Doyle’s story and no moral lesson for readers to pick up on. If one were to read “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”, it would strictly have to be for his/her own amusement rather than to be informed about a subject. Knowing that this story was not one to be broken down and analyzed, it did not necessarily change the way that I looked at literature. If anything, this story did help me to understand how not all stories have to be written with a purpose to get across to the reader, rather some stories can be written just for entertainment of the readers. Even though for pleasure is one to read literature, when I read a book or a story for school I fully expect it to teach me something or at least facilitate something that I am being taught. While “The Adventures of the Cardboard Box” may be a thrilling and interesting read, and while I did enjoy reading it, afterword I felt no satisfaction of having learned something at all, and that is what I typically expect from reading a scholarly story for school.