Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Detective Fiction: The story within the story

Presenter Information

Deanna AllredFollow

Class

Article

Department

English

Faculty Mentor

Michael Sowder

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Deanna Allred Detective Fiction Abstract In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's small story, "How Watson Learned the Trick," Watson tries to size up Holmes' situation one morning by using the same methods of deduction that Sherlock uses on others. Watson turns out to be wrong on all accounts and Holmes sets him straight. The trick, as the title implies, has Doyle as omniscient author, giving Holmes all the answers. While there may be many possible ways to assess the clues that Holmes finds in his adventures, the fact remains that Doyle creates the story. There can only be one end and Holmes will always be right about his deductions. Watson and audience usually have all the information, but it is only Holmes that is able to deduce the right answer. Watson and reader are made to stand aside, smack our foreheads and marvel at the reasoning skills of Sherlock. The way Sherlock combines and assesses the clues is always the right way because that is how Doyle plans the stories. Equifinality means there are many possible ways to an end and Doyle creates an illusion that there is only one way to assess the clues Sherlock finds. There is no equifinality in the world of Sherlock Holmes. In "How Watson Learned the Trick", we are reminded again, that Holmes skills are oracular. It is ironic "How Watson Learned the Trick" is housed in a dollhouse. A dollhouse is a representation of reality. Doyle's story is an imitation, even a parody, of reality. We, as readers, want desperately to buy into the reality, but it is just a façade. This small book, placed in a small library in a dollhouse, is a story within a story. It's all fantasy, just as the deductive reasoning skills of Sherlock Holmes are fantasy.

Start Date

4-9-2015 9:00 AM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 9th, 9:00 AM

Detective Fiction: The story within the story

Deanna Allred Detective Fiction Abstract In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's small story, "How Watson Learned the Trick," Watson tries to size up Holmes' situation one morning by using the same methods of deduction that Sherlock uses on others. Watson turns out to be wrong on all accounts and Holmes sets him straight. The trick, as the title implies, has Doyle as omniscient author, giving Holmes all the answers. While there may be many possible ways to assess the clues that Holmes finds in his adventures, the fact remains that Doyle creates the story. There can only be one end and Holmes will always be right about his deductions. Watson and audience usually have all the information, but it is only Holmes that is able to deduce the right answer. Watson and reader are made to stand aside, smack our foreheads and marvel at the reasoning skills of Sherlock. The way Sherlock combines and assesses the clues is always the right way because that is how Doyle plans the stories. Equifinality means there are many possible ways to an end and Doyle creates an illusion that there is only one way to assess the clues Sherlock finds. There is no equifinality in the world of Sherlock Holmes. In "How Watson Learned the Trick", we are reminded again, that Holmes skills are oracular. It is ironic "How Watson Learned the Trick" is housed in a dollhouse. A dollhouse is a representation of reality. Doyle's story is an imitation, even a parody, of reality. We, as readers, want desperately to buy into the reality, but it is just a façade. This small book, placed in a small library in a dollhouse, is a story within a story. It's all fantasy, just as the deductive reasoning skills of Sherlock Holmes are fantasy.