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A study in morality: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes
Asim, Tishna M.
Bailey, QuentinBorgstrom, MichaelBenkov, Edith
vii, 80 pages
Sherlock Holmes inhabits a rarefied position in the global cultural landscape. There are hundreds of fictional detectives, yet he is considered the best and most enduring of his brethren. He is considered the archetype of genius detective, and his allure spans borders and generations, even today, one hundred and thirty years after his inception by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He has attained mythical status, both in popular-cultural and academic circles, from his instantly-recognizable profile, complete with deerstalker cap and magnifying lens, to his legendary address at 221B Baker Street in London. Yet the Holmes of myth represents a misreading of Doyle's original sixty stories. Instead of the cold, unemotional, misogynistic automaton that seems cemented in public imagination, the textual Sherlock Holmes is much warmer, more spiritual, and more humane than his myth suggests. This thesis will demonstrate the humanity of Holmes as he exists in the original works, tracing his professional relationships, his views on justice, and his attitudes toward women, to establish a true reading of the famous sleuth. Doyle's original texts depict a gliding evolution by Holmes toward increased morality, spirituality, and fairness, as he serves justice and the greater good. In contradicting the myth, this thesis offers an alternative view of the man himself as he always existed on the page—brilliant in reasoning and scientific deduction, but also kind, responsible, and inherently good. The real Sherlock Holmes, as he exists in Doyle's canon, is certainly worth mythologizing.
English and Comparative Literature
Arts and Letters
San Diego State University
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2016
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