This interesting short story about Detective Sherlock by Doyle actually did not surprise me much as a literature reading assignment. I think it’s because during my high school, those literature courses assigned all categories of readings and thus I am used to confront with something unexpected. I do realize however, that this vivid and descriptive article differs somehow from the traditional stereotype of literature, which a writing class would more likely assign. (For instance, the serious and academic ‘Clues’ by Carlo Ginzburg) Personally I really appreciate and embrace the style of Doyle’s writing, and I learned a lot from reading his works. As far as I am concerned, the fact that this article is concise and easily understandable has nothing to do with degrading its value. On the contrary, being succinct and rather transparent counts as its advantage instead of its weakness. And for me, stories about Holmes provide more than merely a pleasant and exciting reading process.
First of all, Doyle is undeniably successful in creating the Sherlock character. Anyone familiar with Holmes’ stories knows perfectly his personality, which is rather arrogant and sarcastic, and his famous deductive reasoning methods. Additionally, the mode of his thinking process, which focuses on details and existing clues, could serve as a role model for training of reasoning in real life. In ‘The Adventure of the Cardboard Box’, several observations are really impressive to me. For example, Sherlock even noticed that the strings of the package were more likely used by sail makers, which was so trivial and imperceptible that most detectives would have simply ignored. I benefit a lot from paying attention to and analyzing his way of solving puzzles and trying to apply my discoveries in daily situations. And I am so glad to be assigned this reading because it brings to me something meaningful and helps me improve myself. From my perspective, whether a literature piece is good or not doesn’t depend on its length and extent of obscureness, but on its content and usefulness to the audience. And according to this standard, Doyle’s stories have definitely been a great success.
Moreover, I really like the structure in which this article is organized, because it reveals the plots and backgrounds gradually and always keeps the readers nervous, and this promises that the readers are always participating in the reasoning and are positively analyzing the cases themselves.
To clarify my statements further, I am not saying that ‘Clues’ is a failure because of its formal and academic tune or because it’s more obscure and confusing at the first glance. I am simply emphasizing on judging a literature piece by its content rather than its style.