Kim Challenger Essay
What do your chosen three stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories tell us about English society in the nineteenth century? The three short stories I have decided to study are, “The Speckled Band”, “Silver Blaze”, and “The Man with the Twisted Lip. ” These were all written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and are of a detective genre. They were first published in a magazine in the Victorian times called “The Strand”. The stories are all of a similar length because they fitted into columns in the magazine and were all short stories.
On Conan Doyle’s last story, “The Final Problem”, there was a public outcry because they loved Sherlock Holmes’s character so much and Conan Doyle killed him off. As a result of this outcry, Conan Doyle was forced to bring him back in “The Empty House”, in 1905. The Victorian period is the time when Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire from 1837 to 1901. It was a time of growth in the areas of wealth, technology, culture and literature. There was a class system and this was believed to have been dictated by God.
There were three classes; upper class, middle class and working class. There was also an “underclass” who could not support themselves and lived in extreme poverty. The upper class consisted of the Queen, aristocrats, lords and ladies. The middle class consisted of businessmen and the working class consisted of servants. The Victorians were very religious; they went to church every Sunday and said prayers before meals. The vast majority of them were Anglican. Life for women and children was unbearably hard.
As soon as a child could walk, it was expected to work; making matchboxes was one of the main jobs for children as it was easy. Women from all classes were expected to be married young and to raise a family of their own. Few marriages in the middle and upper classes were love matches, but were arranged by parents. Victorian London is where Sherlock is based but not necessarily where all the crimes took place. For example, “I (Watson) walked … holding my breath to keep out the vile, stupefying fumes of the drug”. This took place in “The Man with the Twisted Lip. ” This story was set in London.
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