Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Rebecca Cole Heinowitz

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This thesis will be concerned with challenging the preconceptions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels and stories, and how different readings of the text are revealed when those preconceptions are challenged. While the character of Sherlock Holmes is often considered as very scientific in nature, this thesis will attempt to challenge this, suggesting alternative readings of Holmes that might situate the character within a literary tradition rather than pretending that the Holmes character can somehow be psychoanalyzed or that his work as a detective in a text somehow directly interacted with the real world. By focusing on the context of Doyle's writing during the Victorian era, the major motions and conflicts during the literary world at that time and how what aspects Doyle chooses to emphasize in his text may be more related to art and the Gothic than the scientific, and how Sherlock Holmes as a character and the fictional powers that Doyle gives him reflect a love for art and its relationship to morality.

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