A Detailed Analysis of The Red-Headed League and The Final Problem

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A Detailed Analysis of The Red-Headed League and The Final Problem

In 1888, "A Study in Scarlet" was published, bringing together the infamous duo of Holmes and Watson - and in the creation of Holmes, earned Conan Doyle his fortune. "Scandal in Bohemia" and the following stories of his characters journey into the world of crime solving appeared in "The Strand" magazine. The 1880s saw a growing market for popular fiction and at a mere sixpence a week, it had anxious people rushing to the stands for literary entertainment, amusement and escapism.

The double act of Holmes and Watson is very effective in the short stories by Conan Doyle. Holmes is often described in the short stories with
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Another reason Watson is effective as the storyteller, is that compared to Holmes' amazing powers of logic and deduction, he seems more like a normal person. He, like the reader, is amazed by Holmes' skills, yet he does not understand them. During the denouement of "The Red-Headed League", Watson helps the reader understand how Holmes' came to his conclusions by asking him the questions that are in the readers mind, such as, "But how could you guess what the motive was?" and, "how could you tell that they would make their attempt to-night?" This satisfies the reader and adds realism - it helps them accept it is possible. Also, as Watson is left in the dark until the conclusion, it emphasises Holmes ingenuity and powers of deductive reasoning.

Throughout "The Red-Headed League", there are many clues that enable the mystery to be solved. The idea of the Red-Headed League was so bizarre that there had to be something beyond the obvious evidence. Holmes chuckles after the reading of the advertisement found in the newspaper and concludes that it is "a little off the beaten track". The strange factors that surround the hiring of Wilson's assistant, Vincent Spaulding, make the reader (and the characters) quite dubious of his authenticity. Vincent worked "at half wages" and he had been with Wilson "about a month" before he showed Wilson the
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