Sherlock Holmes Wiki

Character Analysis
One thing that's a bit challenging about talking about Holmes's character in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is that most of the spadework establishing what he's like is accomplished in the earlier novels. Conan Doyle assumes that anyone reading his short stories already knows who Holmes is – and maybe he's right, because all we really need to know is that Holmes is a Great Detective. All the other details are broad-stroke points that take about one paragraph to remind everyone of. For example, take Watson's quick intro to Holmes at the beginning of "A Scandal in Bohemia":

Holmes, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. [Holmes] was still, as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clues and clearing up those mysteries which had been abandoned as hopeless by the official police. (Bohemia.1.2).

Watson's not wasting any time here: the short story format is making him get right to the point. So we learn, in two sentences, that Holmes is: (a) not fond of other people, (b) ridiculously smart, (c) kind of a drug addict, (d) working unofficially to fight crime, and (e) did we mention wicked smart?

And, in fact, the whole Eccentric Genius thing Holmes is rocking is pretty much the only character development we get for him throughout the twelve stories: Watson keeps returning to Holmes's boredom when he's not on a case, the detective's lack of interest in other people except when they have cool stories to tell him, and his incredible smarts. Ta da! That's all you need to start a worldwide fandom.
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