“The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”

Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” is not what I would consider to be literature that I expect to read in school. In my opinion there are several different defining characteristics of books that are generally read in schools. Some of these characteristics include a boring plot, symbols that you may not see but the teacher says exist, and a moral to the story. In Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” none of these stereotypes of classic school literature seem to exist.

Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” has an exciting plot as opposed to many other pieces of literature that we normally read in school. This short story contains many different plot twists and exciting moments that you would not expect. Sherlock Holmes is able to understand the crime completely before anyone else and then informs the audience and the people whom he works with after he has solved the mystery. Leaving everyone in the dark causes Sherlock’s actions to inspire more thought from the audience about why he is acting in the way that he is. Generally, in literature we are included in thoughts like this in order to understand the story more thoroughly, rather than revealing everything that happened at the very end of the story.

Another difference between Doyle’s tale of Sherlock Holmes and literature is in the symbolism within the story. Whenever I think of reading a book for school I think about being miserable while the teacher or professor talks about symbols throughout the book that seem so insignificant that they do not actually exist. It is obvious that in literature there are generally symbols behind certain parts of the story but as soon as the teacher or professor starts pulling for strings that aren’t there I become frustrated. Within “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” I do not think that this happens nearly as often. The plot is more surface level and Sherlock infers many things from his many different ways of investigating the crime but there are no small parts to pick at in order to find symbolism where it may not exist.

The last difference between “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” and literature that I expect to read in school is the moral to the story. In literature there is always a reason that the work was written. The moral sometimes has to be inferred but there is always some underlying reason of why we are reading the book in the first place. In Doyle’s work there does not seem to be a moral of the story. This short story seems to have been written only for enjoyment not for a specific purpose.

Together the exiting plot, lack of symbolism or moral to the story all make Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” different from what is normally to be expected from literature that we read in school.

One thought on ““The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”

  1. I really liked your opening paragraph because it instantly drew me in. The examples were intriguing and it left me wanting to read more, which is important. I also liked that after reading the opening paragraph I knew exactly what was coming later on. I thought that the examples were relatable, which is important because if the reader doesn’t or can’t relate then the chance of them continuing to read is slim. Overall, I found this easy to follow and reader friendly. If I were to critique one aspect it would that I would take out the use of the title, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” in every paragraph because it becomes too repetitive.


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