The theme of the essay is: Good always conquers evil
Sherlock Holmes has a worldwide reputation. Sherlock Holmes has been an inspiration to many for years. His sharp observational skills and logical reasoning have allowed him to solve even the most difficult of cases. Sadly, this invincible character is a fictional creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes gives people the impression, however, that justice is always won and criminals will be punished and caught. The story’s sensory imagery and dialogue help reinforce the notion that good will always triumph over evil.
The sensory images in “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, support the fact that Sherlock makes very detailed observations. Sherlock notices every detail of Helen Stoner, even if he only glances at her. Holmes pushed the black frill that fringed the hand of our visitor, which was lying on the knee. Five small livid dots, representing four fingers and one thumb, were etched on the white wrist (Doyle 147). Sherlock is able to tell that the lady has suffered abuse from her stepfather Grimesby. The bruises point to Dr. Roylott’s involvement in the murders of Helen and Julia, Helen’s identical twin sisters. Sherlock’s careful examination of Helen’s house shows that he pays attention to all the details. “He slid down on his back, held his magnifying glass in one hand and crawled rapidly forward and backwards to examine the minute cracks between each board. He did the exact same thing to the woodwork of the wall paneling. Then, he spent some time staring up at the wall and the bed. This quote shows Sherlock’s meticulousness. This trait was also shown in “he [Sherlock] bent down before the wooden seat and examined the chair’s seat with the most attention” (152). Sherlock’s attention to detail is what ultimately helps him solve a case.
This short story is full of dialogue that shows Sherlock’s self-confidence. “‘When doctors make mistakes, they are the first to commit crimes. He is a man of knowledge and nerve. Palmer and Pritchard both ranked high in their respective fields. Watson and I, Watson, think that we may be able to go deeper. In this quote, Sherlock seems to be confident that he will outsmart Dr. Roylott despite him being one of the cleverest criminals. Sherlock’s confidence can be seen when he tells the doctor to “guard himself” because there may be someone more clever than him on his tracks (150). Sherlock’s calmness also shows his confidence. “I’d be most grateful if I could slip the revolver into my pocket. . . The tooth-brush and that are what I believe we’ll need. Sherlock’s casual way of telling Watson to bring his toothbrush gives the impression that everything is under control and that there is no danger. Sherlock’s confidence makes it seem like he is able to overcome any obstacle and beat any criminal.
The conclusion of the “Adventure of the Speckled Band,” reveals that Sherlock has finally defeated the antagonist of the novel, Dr. Roylott. “The moment we heard the news, Holmes leapt out of bed, lit a candle, and struck furiously with the cane against the bell-pull. . . I was shocked to hear the loudest scream of my life suddenly break through the silence. . . Sherlock, with his quick reaction, forced the snake to go back where it came from. It then bit Dr. Roylott and ended the whole ordeal. Sherlock, through his quick response, forced the serpent to return to the place it had come from. The snake then bit Dr. Roylott to end the entire ordeal. Sherlock says at the end of the story, “Some blows from my walking cane roused this snake’s snakish mood, and it flew towards the first person it encountered.” This is how I indirectly caused the death of Dr. Grimesby Roylott, but I can’t say it will weigh heavily on my conscience. In this quote, Sherlock is implied to not regret what he did. The end of this story appears to suggest that evil will eventually be punished, as well as that Dr. Roylott has earned his fate.
The story, with its sensory imagery, dialogues, and ending, promotes a naive idea that the good will always triumph. It is rare that this happens in real life. Many cases are there where the villains escape justice and never are caught. Many times, the evil is able to defeat good. Sherlock Holmes’ stories and his many feats are a source of comfort to anyone who reads them.