Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Adventure Of Discussion (Chapters 1-6) Week 1

This week, our group read the first six chapters of "The Sign of Four", a personal favorite Holmes story of mine as its plot is pertinent to the rest of the series and its size is only comparable to three other Holmes stories as it was published as one of four full Holmes "novels".
Here are some questions that might pique your interest.

1. Doctor Watson's feeling for Miss Morstan are clearly somewhat laced with romantic intentions. How do you think he will react around her in later chapters? Will he be more forward?

2. As an extension of question one, how do you think Mr. Holmes feels about his trusty companion falling for a woman?

3. Why do you think the Sherlock Holmes stories are always told from the perspective of Doctor Watson?

4. Why do you think that Sherlock is so distant from everyone else? This could be taken from your own perceptions of the character and canon, or related to any ideas of his unmentioned past.



  1. 1. Watson definitely feels for Ms. Morstan, but in light of her recent gain in fortune, he might not be as forward because his intentions might be viewed as a way to get money. He will probably be timid and reserved until "the time is right" and then he'll declare his intentions (we all know how it ends, right?)

    2. Holmes probably doesn't understand Watson's feelings--when Watson said what an attractive woman she was, he said something to the effect of "Really? I didn't notice." He probably doesn't mind too much because he knows that other people have feelings but if and when he finds out that Watson wants to get married, that will mess up their dynamic duo and probably cause some trouble for him.

    3. I think the Holmes stories are told from Watson's perspective to glorify Holmes' abilities. If all the stories were told from Holmes' point of view (there are a few narrated by Holmes) then the cases might be over in a few pages and there would be no suspense, no mystery, no exciting "will-he-figure-it-out????????!?!?!!" tension throughout the book. Watson embellishes and elaborates his stories to make them much more interesting. Holmes' would be much more scientific, possibly dry, and straightforward.

    4. I think Sherlock is so distant for the same reason that he gave for not noticing Ms. Morstan--they are just one factor in the case, and you can't let any outside prejudices get in the way. If he wasn't distant, then outside feelings or opinions might cloud his judgement on a case. Even a stranger could impede what he thinks about a case

  2. 1. I agree that Watson has romantic feelings for Ms. Morstan, and that, from his perspective, these feelings are reciprocated. I think that he would react as he normally would while around her, being a military man his instincts to protect her will come out, which may be perceived as being forward.

    2. Mr. Holmes, being his normal emotionally lacking, but observant self, will no doubt notice any changes Watson makes while around Ms. Morstan, but will likely not fully understand. However, being as intelligent as he is he knows that people may change when in love, which may cause him to worry about how much Ms. Morstan will affect Watson.

    3. The stories being from Dr. Watson's perspective gives a bit of an outside look at the cases, if they had been from Holmes' point of view they would be dryer, as he says, "Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner". So, had the stories all been from Holmes' perspective, they would simply be the dry, cold facts, without Watson to "tinge it with romanticism".

    4. Being distant from others allows Sherlock to only think of the facts during a case, were he to become emotionally attached, his judgement may become clouded. Sherlock knows this to be true, so he stays distant in order to keep his mind clear and his judgement unimpeded.