Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Research Paper

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Research Paper

I am writing you a brief letter with a couple of important goals at hand. One, I haven't said hello in a while and I would like to make sure things are in a good nature back in Seattle. Secondly, I would really enjoy discussing my English class and some of the readings we have embarked on so far this quarter in hopes of convincing you to read them as well. As a good friend of mine, you know as well as I, that I have never been one for sitting down with a warm cup of coffee and absorbing myself into a fictitious novel. Believe it or not though, I have actually read a few texts this year in my Race, Detective Fiction, and Imperial Culture class that have usurped my previous notions on reading for pleasure. Thus far this quarter, we have traveled back in time to the early the 19th century and have started to examine British Imperial culture and the literary styles of that time.

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An arid and unproductive time of prose this was not! At this time in British development, the country had strong imperial ties to the Middle East, and in result, the two cultures were seemingly intertwined. Stereotypes began to form, and a distinct barrier started to build itself, separating the "white" colonial powers of the West with the "dark" and native savages of the East. These stereotypes and the formation of a sense international superiority is quite obvious in some of the fiction that was popularized in this era.

The well-known Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, written by Conan Doyle, are among these texts I have read and have surprisingly enjoyed. Prior to this class, I had built assumptions, as I think you have, to what a detective novel might consist of. I always assumed that the novels written around Sherlock Holmes appealed to adolescent, suspense-hungry, little boys, who one day themselves hoped to be a great detective. I never would have expected to give any merit or impart respect to the writer of such a trivial sort of novel. It was my view that a detective- themed novel would be a singularly toned short story, whereas the great Sherlock Holmes, along with his companion Watson, would melodiously hunt down and find the criminal.

To my pleasant surprise, as I have continued to read several of the adventures Sherlock Holmes embarks upon, I have definitely changed this opinion! The author, Conan Doyle, has an undoubtedly unique fashion of writing. It combines several techniques in which I have found quite satisfying, as the prejudice-bound reader that I was. First, I enjoy how he combines several theatrical tones to his stories, not limiting himself to plainly suspense but throwing in humor, romance, and even horror at times. Secondly, he writes in an unstructured way that lets the readers mind flow freely as would a detective's mind when dissecting a case.

For example, sometimes in his storylines he will randomly switch from one era in time- say the foggy, melancholy, cobble-stone roads of London, to another, the arid, roaming plains of Utah- in a matter of a chapter. His unrestrictive way of laying down scenes, is really beneficial to a reader like myself who becomes easily bored in reading a story that seems to drag on. Lastly, I became fully acknowledged the talents of Doyle after reading an article written by the literary scholar, Katie Louise-Thomas, who was able to read into The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in a closer way than I ever could.

She pointed out many metaphorical and allegorical tools that the novelist uses throughout his writing that definitely added a richer complex than what I extracted. According to Louise, Doyle's writing is soaked in elements of historical and political implications affecting his viewpoint and adding a plethora of stereotypes to his stories.

All of these I never expected from a detective novel simply addressed to an audience of 12yr old boys! To finally persuade you into trying out the literary genius of Conan Doyle, I would like to provide you with a quick summary of the latest text of his I read. In The Adventures of a Cardboard Box, Sherlock Holmes detective qualities are brightly illustrated as he collaborates with Watson to discover the murderer of two helpless victims. In this story Miss Cushing, an older widow, is sent two human ears through the postal service, unaware of why the event occurs. Immediately, the skill of Holmes is called upon to discover who the culprit is and what motivation this culprit obtains. Like in all of his other adventures, Holmes almost magically comes to a conclusion through a few painless steps.

With his rodent-like observation, stealthy way of perusing the scene, and deductive manner of question and answer, Holmes finds the murderer. The remainder of the short story is developed as the culprit, Jim Browner, explains his motives in his sad tale of love and loss. The reader is somewhat attached to the poor man who eventually at the end of the story is left at our mercy to decide whether he should be imprisoned! Now Lilly, you tell me honestly if this doesn't appeal to even the anti-reader! Email me back if you want to talk. I love you and miss you and would be thoroughly pleased if you took my advise and read a little Doyle.
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