Analysis Of Sherlock Holmes And Irene Adler

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An initial trope revealed in this passage is the tension of intimacy versus isolation specifically through the relationship between the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. For instance, although Sherlock refers to Irene as “the woman,” and this appears to exemplify a sort of intimacy or “closeness” by reflecting images of monogamy and “oneness,” the title also serves to demonstrate distance of character (OED). Principally, it stylistically reflects that of an archetype to perhaps signify that just like an archetype as a “projected image,” Sherlock’s understanding of Irene Adler throughout the text, is likewise manufactured (OED). Through her “assumed role” as “the woman,” she “eclipses […] the whole of her sex in Sherlock’s mind”…show more content…
Despite the focus of the passage on the character dynamics of Holes and Adler, it is John Watson, who narrates the story through an outside, third-party view in place of a first-person perspective. This literary choice could again, indicate Irene Adler’s “dubious” character and her actions at the end of the text. Notably, this narration illustrates how the idea that the remaining account of Adler left to the protagonists and readers, is only a “questionable memory” that is thus—as a memory is static--“detached and an impression” instead of something “concrete and present” (OED). Furthermore, John mentions “the woman” or “one woman” in both the opening line and closing line to produce a cyclical narrative effect that perhaps exhibits how Irene Adler can keep Sherlock from deriving any final or concise conclusions---effectively “running in circles” after her…show more content…
In this way, the passage also seems to evaluate inverted gender roles in which Irene Adler is in a position of dominance, and this renders Sherlock consequently into a more passive role as one who must simply observe her to formulate any response. Additionally, the descriptive language of both characters enhances this understanding of the reversal in that, where Sherlock has a “delicate […] temperament,” something soft and more stereotypically feminine, Adler is figuratively compared to the “grit” in Holmes’s sensitivities. Thereby, developing an image of her as being a “strong, determined” figure—qualities that, traditionally, the Eurocentric gender dichotomy associates with masculinity (OED). She “predominates” and so, by definition, the reader expects her to “be the strongest or main element,” throughout the story to follow
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