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Benson Lim
Dr. Harrison
26 July 2014
Writing 39B-Online
The popularity of Doyles novels
There are many features that shape a detective story. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyles
novellas the popularity of his novels are due to an infinite number of reason. Many
scholars agreed that Doyles popularity is due to the brilliant Sherlock Holmes himself,
while other consider Dr. John Watson as the narrator. Some scholars goes even further
saying that his novels are so widely because of his juxtaposition between modern and
industrial civilization along with his coining of the term deduction. Although, there are
many other reasons why Doyles novellas became so widely acclaimed, these are just a
few of the many reasons why people read Doyles novels.
In the novels, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, scholars explicate multiple reasons why
his novels are so popular. One the reason is because of Sherlock Holmes himself. In the
book, Theory and Practice of Detective Fiction, by Jerome H. Delamater and Ruth
Prigozy, Dalameter and Prigozy explains the reason for Doyle fames was because of
Holmes classification as the worlds first consulting detective. Throughout the book,
Dalameter and Prigozy illustrates that Holmes did not conform to the social norms of his
time as a normal detective, but rather his abnormal personality and appearance are what
help aid in spearheaded his popularity, and subsequently lead to the popularity of Doyles
novellas. A notable example is in Doyles novel, A Study in Scarlet, where Dr. John
Watson, the narrator, characterize Holmes as an extremely thin and tall man who is over
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six feet tall with a pair of sharp and piercing eyes, and a hawk like nose (Doyle 9).
Doyles characterization along with Dalameter and Prigozys views of Holmes as
mysterious man is what lead to the popularity of Doyles novel. In addition, another
reason was because Holmes split personality. Throughout the book, An Introduction of
Detective Story, LeRoy Penken illustrates that Holmes split personality is what compel
the readers to read Doyles novels. Penken highlights Holmes character as sloppy, lazy,
and drug addict (Penken 6). In the Doyles novel, A Study in Scarlet, Watsons
characterizes Holmes as puzzling and ironic. He explains that although Holmes is
intelligent and witty, he make irrational choices such as injecting himself with cocaine
(Doyle 3). Penkens further asserts that Holmes does not jog or do executive exercise,
but is able accomplishes all these tasks as an expert ( Penken 8). Holmes ironic
behavior and skills are what make people fascinated about him, therefore, this interest to
know more about Holmes character is what one of the many reason why Doyles novels
are so admired. Some scholars such as
Throughout the story, Dr. John Watson function as the narrator is one of the many
reason why Doyles novels has become popular. Dr. Watson function as the narrator has
provided deep insight and characterization of Holmes. Although, the plot centers around
Holmes and Dr. Watson, the relationship between the two men combining with Dr.
Watsons voice are what help gain the popularity of the series. Throughout the storyline,
the relationship between Holmes and Watson can be described as a teacher student
relationship. Some scholars, such as Penken explicate that Holmes function as the
teacher and Watson as the student. In the novel, The Sign of Four, this is vividly
illustrated when Watson constantly ask question and Holmes reply to his inquiry.
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Penkens analysis of the two student and teacher- along with the novel , The Sign of
Four, helps further buttress why Doyles novel have become very popular during its
time. In addition, the bond that Holmes and Watson make the reader captivated of how a
doctor and a consulting detective are able to get along so well. Further, the relationship
between Holmes and Watson can be classify as a mentor and mentee, where Holemes
shape and molds Watsons views. Throughout the novellas, Watsons narration of the
plot highlight how their relationship cultivate and deep kinship between one another, this
is subsequently seen in Penkens book. Watsons chronicle of the plot combine with their
unique relationship is what captivates reader to continuing reading Doyles novel.
Scholar such as John S. McBarney says that the reason why Doyle novella are so
popular is because of the contrast in culture difference between modern and indigenous
civilization. In the novel, The Sign of Four, Doyle depicts Tonga, the indigenous
Abernesian man, as an exotic animal. Doyle refers Tonga as an it where Watson
characterize Tonga as a savage and a distorted creature. McBarney explicates that the
culture views of how the English men and women views foreign are not accurate as
depicted in the novel, but rather base on racial prejudice, impudence, and generalization.
McBarney author of the academic article, Racial and Criminal Types: Indian
Ethnography and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four, says the reason for the
popularity of Doyles novel is because difference in cultural heritage, where theEnglish
make up false facts about uncivilized cultures. An notable examples is when McBarney
corrected the content about the height of the as rather being barely four feet tall , the
Abernesian are actual ranging form four feet six to eight. By creating a skew image,
English men and women become fascinated about the new word. In additon, McBarney
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further stresses that along with the culutre contrast, physical attributes of the people from
the new word further compel the readers to read Doyles novella. In his academic article,
McBarney stress that Anthropologist in the Victorian Era measured intelligence base on
the human cranium. McBarney highlights the reason why English men and women reads
Doyle novel because of the superiority they feel. The reason for Doyle popularity is
because of the juxtaposition of both culture and physical attributes between western and
eastern civilization.
Another reason for the popularity of Doyles novels is Doyle popularization of the
term deduction. During late London Victorian century, deduction is not viewed as it
know today, cleaver. In the article, Murder Will Out, T.J Binyon, explicates that the
reason for popularity of Doyles novel is because he attaches the concept of deduction
with Homes. Binyon says that by bridging a connection between deductions as an
instance drawn out from a generality, Holmes character is greatly link with the term
deduction as his trademark (Binyon 2). An example that highlight this is when Holmes
makes inference that is seldom ... proven incorrect (3). Take for instance when Homes
make a remarks to Watson about who the pawnbroker of the Red-Headed League in
one of Doyles short stories. Doyles novel is so well-liked because of his popularization
of the term deduction to the character of Holmes.
Doyles novellas are so widely acclaimed because of not only Holmes himself,
but also due to Doyle infusion of the Dr. Watson as the narrator with the contrast between
civilize and uncivilized culture. Without out the polymerization, along with coining the
term deduction, Doyles novels are not what it is today: a stimulating and fascinating
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Work Cited page
Conan Doyle, Arthur. The Sign of the Four. Seattle: Amazon Digital Services,
2013. Kindle eBook. Online.
Delamater, Jerome and Ruth Prigozy, eds. Theory and Practice of Classic
DetectiveFiction. New York: Praeger, 1997. Print.
Gunning, T.J. "Tracing the Individual Body: Photography, Detectives, and
Early Cinema." Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life. : , . . Print.
Mcbratney, John. "Racial And Criminal Types: Indian Ethnography And Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign Of Four." Victorian Literature and Culture: n. page.
Panek, Leroy. An Introduction to the Detective Story. Bowling Green, OH:
Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1987. Print.