A Comparison of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John watson


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 Conan Doyle presents a series of stories featuring crime solving adventures by two main characters namely Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. The two characters work together and each one seems to supplement or complement the other in the investigations, on various situations. Dr. Watson is a medical advisor and Holmes faithful and dear friend as well as an assistant in crime solving. Dr. Watson is also a roommate to Holmes and they live in the same street. Watson is a very loyal and trustworthy friend to Holmes, and Holmes treats Watson with care and respect

This can be exemplified by Holmes introductory remarks to the lady seeking his help in the The Adventure of the Speckled Band”. Holmes says, Good-morning, madam. My name is Sherlock Holmes. This is my intimate friend and associate, Dr. Watson, before whom you can speak as freely as before my self. Ha! This is a clear indicator that Holmes is good to Watson. On the other hand, Watson regards Holmes in a similar manner.

In the same story prior to the meeting mentioned above, Holmes requests Watson to join him in his investigations and Watson quickly replies,My dear fellow, I would not miss it for anything. This remark shows that Watson also equally cherishes his friend Holmes as well as his work. In his narration, Watson further remarks that I had no keener pleasure than in following Holmes in his professional investigations This indicates that they were mutual friends each liking the other in a similar manner. Thus, they are people that regard their friends with similar weight and concern.

The stories however, portray that Holmes perfect, witty and smart, and Watson is kindly, but no as smart as Holmes. Holmes portrayal depicts a reserved and detached individual, but on the other hand; Watson is pictured as a social, emotional, humane and kind person. Watsons simplicity and straightforwardness did not allow him to enter a criminals mind as did Holmes. He could also not create smart tricks to trap the criminals like Holmes did.

For example, in the The adventure of the crooked man Holmes is quickly able to make the connection between Julias last words  speckled band and the bell cord, after hearing Dr. Roylotts whistle calling swamp udder which he sent into Julias room to kill her. Holmes quickly deduces that Julia had seen it climb through the bell cord after it had bit her-a fact that Watson is oblivious of while at the scene. However, Watson is neither un-clever nor a fool because he can follow Holmes thought sequence and investigative methods and even be able to replicate them in his own investigations.

This is exemplified by Watsons narration remark in The adventure of the Norwood builder where he states: Familiar as I was with my friend’s methods, it was not difficult for me to follow his deductions, and to observe the untidiness of attire, the sheaf of legal papers, the watch-charm, and the breathing which had prompted them. Thus he was astute and keen enough to follow the investigation through. Watson cannot rise above earthly cares and he is more like anyone, but on the other hand Holmes is quite different, because he could abandon resting and eating for along time when necessary in order to solve cases.

This mainly occurred when he had mind boggling puzzles which required him to be all nerves. Perhaps this was the reason why he was always a later riser as noted in The adventure of the speckled band where Watson narrates: It was early in April in the year ’83 that I woke one morning to find Sherlock Holmes standing, fully dressed, by the side of my bed. He was a late riser, as a rule The statement also implies that on the contrary Watson was an early riser, by virtue of the fact that he had to wake up earlier in order to notice that his friend was an ever later riser.

Apart from wits and cleverness, Holmes has a keen eye for small details which easily escape Watsons eye in investigations.  In The adventure of the blue carbuncle Holmes infers the large hats size to a wearer with a big head and therefore, big brains and he says a man with so large a brain must have something in it. This is indeed a person who cannot be escaped with the slightest details.

Additionally, whilst conversing with the client in the The adventure of the speckled band he notices a return ticket on her hand and infers that she came in by train. Oblivious of this fact, the lady thinks that Holmes knows her, but he proceeds to correct her and explain how he got to know that fact: Holmes: You have come in by train this morning, I see. The Client: You know me, then?. Holmes: No, but I observe the second half of a return ticket in the palm of your left glove.

These are among the many finer details that Holmes is ever able to see, despite the fact that they escape the attention of many, including Watson, and unlike Holmes; Watson seems to lack this ability, however; he has it in the scientific field. Watsons experiments attest to his keen eye to detail in science rather than in crime scene forensics or interrogation. In the Adventure of the copper beechesHolmes shows that he also greatly values the power of logic and reason which many at times escapes his partner in crime investigation-Dr. Watson. At some point in their conversation Holmes tells Watson that:

You have erred perhaps in attempting to put color and life into each of your statements instead rather than confine your-self to the task of placing upon record that severe reasoning from cause to effect which is really the only notable feature about the thing. Further on in the conversation Holmes continues to tell Watson that:

If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thinga thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales.

These statements imply that Holmes places greater emphasis on logical and deductive reasoning and he values a cleverly sequenced thought flow to reveal the unknown. The fact that these words are addressed to his friend Watson, implies that Holmes thought Watson as a person not having enough logical and deductive thought capacity due to his actions,

Holmes shows no in-depth interest in women in particular as did Watson. However, he appears to portray some interest in a few of the female clients that he gets. This is particularly evident in Violet Hunters case within the The adventure of the copper beeches. The doctor states that Holmes ceased to show any further interest when Hunters case got to conclusion and her problem ceased to be the center of focus.

Watson concludes that; perhaps Holmes display of little to no interest on the ladies may be attributed to the fact that the cases they bring to him are intriguing, challenging and invigorating when compared to romance based interests that they may elicit in him. But for Adlers case, these stories showed that Holmes had no long term or serious interest. In his narrations, Watson notes that Holmes had an aversion to the female gender but, he had a peculiar way of ingratiating the women, and at some point this is shown by Holmes statement: I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind. Seemingly, Holmes derives joy from the cases that the women bring to him rather than them.

Conclusively, the two friends have a lot of similarities and differences, however; the number of differences seems to be many compared to the similarities. Notably, there differences form a point supplementing each other whereas; their similarities form a complementing point for each other, and with this they are able to achieve a lot of success in many of their investigations.


Doyle, C. A. (1883),. The Adventure of the Crooked Man

Doyle, C. A. (1892),. The Adventure of the Speckled Band

Doyle, C. A. (1892),. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

Doyle, C. A. (1892),. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Doyle, C. A. (1903),. The Dancing Men

Doyle, C. A. (1903),.The Solitary Cyclist

Doyle, C. A. (1893),. The Greek Interpreter

Doyle, C. A. (1903),. The Norwood Builder

James Peter is the author and is associated with meldaresearch.com which is a global custom thesis writing  provider. If you would like help in essays, research papers, term papers and dissertations, you can visit BestEssaySite.Com

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