Sherlock Holmes

When one thinks of the type of literature read in an English class, he thinks of very dry, boring material. The reader is usually not interested in the reading. Often times he spends so much effort analyzing the text that he forgets what the story is even about. When one reads for pleasure, he does not always analyze certain details. The reader may take the details at face value. When a sentence reads “the rug was blue”, he does not analyze the statement and think “the blue rug symbolizes the depression that the author was going through.” Instead, he takes the statement at face value and thinks, “the rug was blue.” One literary work where the reader can both analyze and accept the statements given is Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes sits right on the borderline of literature one would read for fun and literature one would read in a classroom. People like Sherlock Holmes because it is an adventure. The stories are usually a mystery with facts that may seem out of place in the beginning, but in the end everything is tied together. The reader expects Sherlock to overcome his challenges and triumph in the end. The story entices the reader to continue reading because at every page there is a new clue. Something new is always happening.

Another reason why people love to read Sherlock Holmes is because the text is easy to read. One does not have to search his way through dozens of literary devices in order to find out what the author is saying. The story has much action in it, and if it was dragged down by literary device, it may not be as interesting to the readers.

Although Sherlock Holmes can be read at face value, it can also be analyzed. When one looks at Sherlock, he sees much of the author. Conan Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh then moved to London. Sherlock Holmes takes place in London. Doyle valued intelligence, and Holmes’ character was inspired from a man with extreme deductive power named Joseph Bell. When one examines Sherlock Holmes more closely he can see that the stories can be read deeper than face value.

Sherlock Holmes is a type of literature that can appeal to many different people. It can be enjoyed at face value and be read as a mystery story. It can also be analyzed more to discover truths about the author. Doyle made a story that can be enjoyed by many readers in many time periods, and for this reason, Sherlock Holmes is popular.


One thought on “Sherlock Holmes

  1. I think your introductory paragraph was solid, and offered an idea that many people either overlook or take for granted: the fact that readers don’t have to “over analyze” to be intellectual and scholarly. Although everything an author writes has meaning behind it, everything the author writes isn’t necessarily deeply symbolic.
    You spoke a lot about why people love to read Sherlock Holmes stories, but you didn’t mention how it can be used as a literary piece in the classroom. Maybe if you choose to rewrite this post, you can talk about that and tie it back to your introduction when you claim, “One literary work where the reader can both analyze and accept the statements given is Sherlock Holmes.”
    I thought what you said about the author was interesting. I don’t often look into the life and biography of the author of a literary piece, but it seems like that would relieve more than what one can deduce from his/her written words. This was an interesting idea, and I wish you would have expanded on it.
    Great Post!


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