"Similarities and differences among detectives, as portrayed in The Hound of Baskervilles and The Speaker of Mandarin "

Essay by ShivaMohanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2002

download word file, 4 pages 4.5

This essays looks at how "The Hound of Baskervilles" and "The speaker of Mandarin" display that all detectives of crime share similar characteristics in both deduction and their attitude towards life.

People that posses a high degree of intellect and focus on solving the quandaries and puzzles of life, often display common characteristics. Especially those that specialize in solving crime display this parallel. The portrayals of two great detectives of fiction - Sherlock Holmes, in The Hounds of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Inspector Wexford, in The Speaker of Mandarin by Ruth Rendell employ these characteristic traits. Firstly both Holmes and Wexford display enthusiasm. Secondly, both detectives display guile and recognize the situations that demand tact, and those that demand bluntness. While detectives of crime display similarities, they also display differences that enhance their individuality and uniqueness. In the case of Holmes and Wexford, while Holmes requires few comforts, Wexford displays extreme fastidiousness, and at times lets this quality impede his work.

People of high astuteness often display a high degree of enthusiasm. Both Sherlock Holmes, and Inspector Wexford display such enthusiasm. Holmes's enthusiasm, resides in a myriad of aspects of his work. He gets amusement in astonishing his close friend Watson with his deductive abilities. Often, Holmes's "grey eyes danc[e] with amusement as they fall upon [Watson's] astonished features" (Doyle 106). He also displays this enthusiasm upon exposing the quandaries of his case - "Holmes leaned forward with excitement, and his eyes had the hard, dry glitter which shot from them when he was keenly interested" (Doyle 106). Holmes's enthusiasm during such moments of revelation often manifested itself in the form of body language - "Sherlock Holmes struck his hand against his knee with an impatient gesture" (Doyle 20). He also...