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Symbolism In Arthur Conan Doyle's The Red-Headed League

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Symbolism plays an important responsibility in any story, adding a subtle layer of depth, thought and insight. In a world of mundaneness, Sherlock Holmes embarks on a mission to unravel the peculiar “whodunits”1 life hurtles his way with his dependable companion, Dr. John Watson. Together they search for the minuscule inklings that lead them one step closer towards the reality. Arthur Conan Doyle’s symbolism in “The Red-Headed League” reveals the unusual in the mundane.
Mind-numbing, humdrum, and uninteresting, best suit the physical appearance and personality of Mr. Jabez Wilson. Although, despite his utter tedium he manages to discover himself in the middle of a massive crime. While bringing Sherlock an unusual case, Watson verbalizes his
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“As a rule,” soothes Holmes, “the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be, it is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.” (#) Sherlock hastily points out to Mr. Jabez Wilson, right after hearing his bizarre case, the dominant theme in the story: the bizarre hidden in the commonplace. Pointing out that the strangest, weirdest, craziest things require careful examination and explanation through unassuming and obvious means remains one of the important trends in life and the story. Anyways, back to the red herring idea mentioned earlier, the story Mr. Jabez Wilson gives Sherlock about The Red-Headed League tempts both Dr. John Watson and the readers-turned-detectives to receive an intricate rationalization for a bewildering situation. Yet, quite the opposite happens because the truth remains far simpler, as Sherlock dispels the mystery of The Red-Headed League as a mere cover-up created by one of Europe’s most wanted criminals, John Clay, so he could pull of a typical bank robbery. Sherlock even says that even though he possesses the mental capacity of figuring out this peculiar case, the commonplace crimes can not be figured out. Horrible, inconsiderate and sad crimes that populate the news and…show more content…
Once Sherlock Holmes has designed a trap to capture John Clay and his assistant Archie, he waits for them like a lion about to pounce. John Clay falls into this trap and the police immediately arrest him, and while he walks away in handcuffs he declares, “Oh, indeed! You seem to have done the things very completely. I must compliment you.’ ‘And I you, ‘Homes answered. ‘Your red-headed idea was very new and effective.’” Holmes reciprocates the compliment with one of his own. Also, one of the policemen praise John Clay with the words, “His brain is as cunning as is fingers, and though we meet signs of him at every turn, we never know where to find the man himself. He’ll crack a crib in Scotland one week, and be raising money to build an orphanage in Cornwall the next. I’ve been on his track for years and have never set eyes on him yet.” These words accurately explain the fact he commits unusual crimes and using the money for more unusual purposes. “Bored” and “genius” flatter John Clay the most. Sherlock and John Clay use their mental ability as a way to entertain themselves and do some good in this mundane
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