Sherlock Holmes: A Timeless Victorian Creation Essay

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Arthur Conan Doyle’s legacy rests heavily on one Victorian creation: the character of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes's attitude of intelligence and originality continues to keep fans inclined and fascinated ever since the Victorian era. Holmes persists as remakes and reincarnations of the Sherlock character keep the mastermind relevant. While the modernization of Sherlock creates a personal connection between the reader and Sherlock in “A Scandal in Belgravia,” the BBC adaptation dilutes Sherlock’s character from a distinguished genius to a mere detective.

In the story “A Scandal in Bohemia,” we get a glimpse of Holmes’s character, a natural mastermind, through John Watson's narration. As with any narrated scene, our perception of Holmes develops through the opinion of another. However, Watson, someone who lived with Holmes for an extended period of time, describes him as “precise,” “admirably balanced mind,” “trained reasoner,” and arguably the “most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has ever seen” (Doyle 1). While we receive Watson’s description, the sheer brilliance of Holmes’s character displays through his “extraordinary powers of observation” and analysis (1). In the opening scene of the story, Holmes asks Watson if he has ever observed the steps that he walked on hundreds of times. Although Watson has seen the steps, he has yet to "observe" them as Sherlock naturally does (3). The difference in Sherlock’s observation versus Watson’s separates the…