Sherlock Holmes Research Paper

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Jacob Sebiri Ms. Priola English 4A: Mystery Genre 11/4/15 What makes a great Detective What is a detective? A detective is “someone who is a member of the police force or a private investigator whose function is to obtain information and evidence” ( Great detectives are intelligent and observant. Edgar Allan Poe’s Auguste Dupin and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes embody what any private investigator should aspire to be, but at times they can be overconfident. Although these two detectives come from different authors and different time periods, they both exhibit traits that make them masters of their craft; the good and bad. Holmes and Dupin share many traits that make their personalities and detective skills similar,…show more content…
Holmes displays his brilliant mind when he explains to Watson how he tricked Adler into revealing where she keeps the picture of the king, “It was all-important. When a woman thinks that her house is on fire, her instinct is at once to rush to the thing which she values most..The smoke and shouting were enough to shake nerves of steel...The photograph is in a recess behind a sliding panel just above the right bell-pull” (Conan Doyle 11). This proves that Holmes is intelligent because he is able to predict what Irene Adler would do when her safety is compromised. Similarly, Dupin’s brilliant mind helps find the owner of the murderous Ourang-Outang, "How was it possible," I asked, "that you should know the man to be a sailor, and belonging to a Maltese vessel?"..."I am not sure of it. Here, however, is a small piece of ribbon, which from its form, and from its greasy appearance, has evidently been used in tying the hair in one of those long queues of which sailors are so fond. Moreover, this knot is one which few besides sailors can tie, and is peculiar to the Maltese” (Poe). This proves that Dupin is intelligent because he knows, without looking it up, that this particular ribbon, that they found near the crime scene, is not only from the navy, but from the Maltese. Both of these men are not only extremely perceptive, but are also extraordinarily…show more content…
This can be seen when Holmes brings the King to Irene Adler's house, a woman stops them as they arrive and says, “Mr. Sherlock Holmes, I believe?” Sherlock replies “I am Mr. Holmes,” she replies “Indeed! My mistress told me that you were likely to call. She left this morning with her husband by the 5.15 train from Charing Cross for the Continent” (Holmes 12). This proves that Holmes is overconfident because he was so caught up in thinking he was unbeatable that he never considered that someone could dupe him. Likewise, the reader can see that Dupin is overconfident when he asks the narrator, “Besides, the hair of a madman is not such as I now hold in my hand. I disentangled this little tuft from the rigidly clutched fingers of Madame L'Espanaye. Tell me what you can make of it."... "Dupin!" I said, completely unnerved; "this hair is most unusual --this is no human hair” (Poe). This proves that Dupin s over confident because he assumes that this hair is of a human when he refers to the madman, when in reality the hair is of non human origin. Although being intelligent and observant makes one a great detective, being overconfident can cause mistakes which could lead to the end of a

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