Sherlock Essay

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4. A Study in Symbols 4.1 History Repeats Itself Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his first novel featuring Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet in 1887. The story is set in Victorian London of 1881 and begins with a return of John H. Watson, M.D, from the second Anglo-Afghan War. Being fairly limited by his low income of an army veteran and his poor medical state, Dr. Watson quickly finds himself forced to leave the metropolis or to change his hotel asylum for some more affordable quarters. After making acquaintance with Sherlock Holmes, he chooses the latter option and the two shortly become involved in solving mysterious murder case which prefigures their strong literary relationship. In 2010, more than 120 years after Sherlock Holmes’s debut, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss introduce their TV series Sherlock produced by the BBC. The first episode of the series, which is, as stated in the opening credits, based on works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, bears the title A Study in Pink. In this contemporary adaptation, John Watson, who is played by Martin Freeman, returns from the War in Afghanistan that followed the terrorist attacks on metropolitan areas on New York and Washington in September 2001. Suffering from his war wounds, he is just as lost as his Victorian counterpart. Yet once again, his meaningless existence turns into a long chain of adventures when meeting a modern incarnation of the consulting detective Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The next two subchapters offer an analysis of both A Study in Scarlet and A Study in Pink with the primary focus on their social and political context. This part of the thesis searches for important symbols in the two works. The face of London, the nature of crime, the Holmes-Watson relationship or the role of science and rationality reflect the state of societies at given moments in time and carry

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