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Alfonso 1 Michelle Coleen S. Alfonso Dr.

Lynda Haas Writing 37 2 February 2014 The Science of Deduction Mystery is a genre of fiction which may describe a situation in which a detective solves crimes by using his deductive reasoning skills. With any given problem there is a solution, however, the question is how does one occur to that solution? Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and has become one of the most well-known literary detectives of all time. Extremely high intelligence level, keen observation, creative imagination and sensitivity to details are just some of the qualities that Sherlock Holmes possesses. In the process of solving mysteries, there is always a borderline between mere guessing, or coincidence, and a scientific approach called deduction. Conan Doyle tells us what our mind is capable of doing by incorporating Sherlock Holmes through his novels as he uses observation, knowledge and deduction in solving his cases. The only difference of Sherlock Holmes from most people is that he sees everything that people often neglect to pay attention to. In Conan Doyles The Sign of the Four, Sherlock Holmes is able to solve a difficult problem in uncovering the mysterious deaths of Captain Morstan, Major Sholto and Bartholomew Sholto with the use of his deductive reasoning skill and application of scientific investigation. Sherlock Holmes holds an extraordinary analytical mind and is uniquely capable of solving a mystery through his great sensitivity to minute details and the ability to draw connections from it which others are incapable of.

Alfonso 2 A significant factor that differentiates Sherlock Holmes from any other individual is his application of science in solving and unraveling his cases. He refuses to believe anything that is not proved scientifically true. In the novel, Sherlock Holmes states that one must eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth (Doyle 5). As he is given information regarding the crime, he observes and investigates all the possibilities of why it happened and then narrow it down by keeping the ones that are strongly supported with evidences. Here, the process of deduction is being applied by striking out the possible options that do not match the clues and whichever is left, no matter how impossible it may seem, is nothing but the truth. In The Sign of the Four, Sherlock Holmes depicts his usage of observation and deduction to Watson that moment when he left their apartment. He tells Watson that based from his observation, he has been to the Wigmore Street Post-Office that morning and deduces that there he dispatched a telegram. Holmes knows that he went to that post office because he notices the little reddish mould (Doyle 4) adhering to Watsons shoes that matches the gravel that is being used in that particular construction site. Seeing that Watson did not write any letter earlier that morning and that he did not purchase any mail stamps, Holmes eliminates the possibility that he mailed a letter while at the post office and concludes that he sent a telegram. Holmess keen observation lets him deduce everything about what Watson did that morning without Watson even telling him anything. As simple as it may seem, no one could have ever thought of that specificity without such skills of Sherlock Holmes. In The Hound of the Baskerville, Sherlock Holmes also stated that the world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes (Doyle 1238). Most of us often oversee obvious clues that can be really helpful in solving any of our problems. While everyone is just blinded with all the available hints and

Alfonso 3 indications around them, Holmes takes everything in, analyzes them and applies scientific knowledge and comes up with a solution that is exceedingly impressive. Establishing a wide range of information is always a great way to start thinking like Sherlock Holmes. Being mindful of his surroundings all the time, Holmes is always a step ahead of everyone. Having the ability to quickly respond to a situation and come up with an answer why it happened has always been a piece of cake to Sherlock Holmes. It is not easy for some people but it is something that can be acquired. Sherlock Holmes teaches us how to be mindful to our surroundings and apply it in our lives. He also shows us how to make great connections about the things that we see and the things that we know already and from there deduce the possible cause. The use of scientific deduction as a convention is crucial because not all readers possesses extraordinary intellect like Holmes but as we, the readers go through the novel, learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves and learn to apply them in our everyday lives.

Alfonso 4 Works Cited Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Sign of the Four. London and Philadelphia: Lippincotts Monthly Magazine, Spencer Blackett, 1890. Print. ---. The Hound of the Baskerville. United Kingdom: George Newnes, 1902. Print. "Sherlock Holmes." Sherlock Holmes. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. Berg, Stanton O. "Sherlock Holmes: Father of Scientific Crime and Detection." Northwestern University School of Law Scholarly Common, n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.