Social Hierarchy And The Twisted Lip

1221 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Social Hierarchy and The Establishment of Identity:
“The Man with the Twisted Lip”

The short story by Doyle, “The Man with the Twisted Lip,” is based on disguises of wealth and appearance and how these disguises change the point of view that people have in the social classes and what they think about each other during the Victorian Era. Disguises can be used to create an identity for one’s own personal gain or to protect an individual 's identity. Neville St. Claire uses disguise to validate his place as a gentleman. His status as a beggar allows him to become the successful gentleman that he should be, by concealing his true self to the social class system. Sherlock Holmes uses his persona as a protection to keep the people of London safe and out of harms way. Between the two personalities of St. Claire and Holmes is the outcome of what others may think of them; St. Claire knows the identity that he has created is not accepted by the social class while Sherlock Holmes identity is seen as a hero and is accepted by the social class. One uses his disguise purely for monetary gain and the other uses the identity in order to solve mysteries and protect his city. As shown in the “The Man with the Twisted Lip”, disguise is only allowed when the social class accepts the identity. Despite the fact that St. Claire and Holmes created new identities through disguise, St. Claire is shamed of his identity while Holmes is respected. Both disguises have various goals. St. Claire hides…
Open Document