Superstition On The Face Of Logic By Dr. Mortimer

1272 Words6 Pages
Theme The most prevalent theme of this book is superstition in the face of logic. Throughout the novel the logician, Sherlock Holmes, is faced with something quite the opposite of logic: a supernatural hound. The reader can see in many places that the supernatural beliefs of the townsfolk and neighbours of the Hall swayed the reasoning of those trying to unravel the layers of mystery surrounding the investigation. This intersection of rational thought and irrational belief is first presented by Dr. Mortimer at the beginning of the novel. Dr. Mortimer’ introduction as a “man of science” sets a tone of intellectuality; Holmes and Mortimer make small talk of his medical practice, Holmes’ deductions, and the intricacies of Holmes’ skull structure. This is immediately skewed by the telling of the legend of the hound. The reading of this unworldly myth promptly makes the atmosphere eerie and mystical. These two undercurrents mix together for the first time in this scene, when Mortimer makes it clear he believes the supernatural explanation for the crime committed. Another clear indicator of the theme appears in evidence of the hound. There are several indicators throughout the novel that the there is a real dog in play. However, instead of being interpreted as evidence of a real dog, they are dismissed as superstition or insignificant by most; it is these pieces of evidence that Holmes uses to determine that the dog is of the corporeal world. The first piece of evidence set

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