Character Foils of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson of the Hound of the Baskervilles Essay

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In the book The Hound of the Baskervilles (written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) the two main characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, are two very complex and intelligent men. These two men are coworkers and good friends, and yet they have very opposite personalities. The differences between them contrast so greatly that it is assumed to be a character foil. A character foil is when a character who contrasts with another character to highlight particular virtues of another character. Throughout the book Holmes and Watson show their brilliance, competence, analyzing skills, and capabilities through their characteristics, like their motivations, or thought and feelings. Holmes is illustrated in the book as a brilliant, analytical genius who is emotionally detached where as Watson is a capable, competent assistant to Holmes. These traits will show how they are character foils. Throughout this book, Sherlock Holmes is displayed as an emotionally detached, brilliant, and analytical genius who lives to solve crime. The book first resembles these characteristics through his actions. In chapter 4, after meeting with Sir Henry and Dr. Mortimer, Holmes and Watson follow them through town to investigate Holmes’s theory. As they keep a steady pace behind the two men, Holmes recognizes something across the street, “An instant afterwards he gave a cry of satisfaction, and, following the direction of his eager eyes, I saw that a hansom cab with a man inside it which had halted on the other side of the street was now walking slowly onward again” (Doyle 42). This passage shows his brilliance and his analytical genius because he knew that there was a chance that Sir Henry was being followed. Since he didn’t recognize or see clearly who the mysterious man in the cab was, he was able to catch the number of the cab, to question the cab driver about his passenger. Another example

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