Forming and Protecting the Middle-Class Victorian Ideal: Holmes and Watson

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kathryn Caroline Smith (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Susan Cannata

Abstract: A critical literary evaluation of Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and middle-class Victorian culture, this essay seeks to connect Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective fiction to the ideology of the Victorian middle classes. This study focuses on the ideological mindset of the Victorian middle classes and how a conflicted notion of the ideal often lead to values that were highly praised but rarely put into practice. This essay argues that, together, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson form and protect the ideals of the Victorian middle classes. Where one may fail, the other succeeds in maintaining values and stability. Holmes uses middle-class Victorian ideology to formulate his deductions and Watson creates a vital link between Holmes' eccentricities and the middle-class reader. It is for this reason that the connection between the middle-class Victorian audience and the stories' characters is so strong.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2008
Holmes, Sherlock (Fictitious Character) - Literary Criticism, Victorian Culture, Middle Class Victorian Culture, Watson, John H. (Fictitious Character) - Literary Criticism

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