From this week’s reading, my favorite had to be The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle. I never read anything Sherlock Holmes-esque until this week, and I now know why so many people enjoy those stories, because truth be told, I do too.
Sherlock Holmes is quite the character. As amazing as he is as a detective, he is no where near normal. Addicted to cocaine and morphine, as bad as that might be, he is able to do his job flawlessly. Having Watson as the narrator, however, allows us readers to fully understand the entirety of Holmes as a detective. This regular man gives us details on a strangely irregular man, one who cannot treat humans as humans, but rather as pieces of a case. He employs children to work for him, something that police never would have thought of or done. And surprisingly, it works!
The part that intrigued me the most was when Sherlock and Watson were with Smalls, chasing him down the Thames River so they could get rid of Tonga. Again, we see parallels with class and race, and how only white men should belong in this area, and these outsiders that we’ve tried to help have come to no avail. It is hopeless, and they must get rid of these intruders before they infiltrate everyone. This British empire that wanted to help others ended up turning back on those words, and the metaphor for killing Tonga right where he essentially entered London is quite important to show how the English were only going to push out the outsiders.
This seems like it’ll be a recurring theme in the works we read later on, as people will begin to be less open-minded and close themselves towards what they find familiar. In a time for change and modernity, could it be possible that we’re traveling backwards?