Sherlock Holmes And Irene Adler Character Analysis

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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” and so, like an eclipse, repeatedly “obscures” or generates distance away from her true motives and identity (OED). For example, at the end of the text, Irene is able to escape dressed in the persona of a man and remarks that she “often takes advantage of the freedom” that acting brings (Doyle 24). In this way, Adler must be only a representation through her moniker of “the woman,” because it prevents Sherlock from gaining complete insight and knowing the intricate nuances of her as an individual. So, this interpretation is particularly significant or relevant as foreshadowing the ending conflict of the text in which Irene Adler evades Holmes and escape without questioning as well as concretizing pivotal characterization (Doyle 24). Moreover, the interplay between intimacy and isolation is also apparent from the specific point of view of the passage’s narration. Despite the focus of the passage on the character dynamics of Holes and Adler, it is John Watson, who narrates the story through an ... ... middle of paper ... ...emale role, despite his efforts to define her as “the woman,” is necessary for predicting her ultimate getaway. This passage also acts as a vital piece in the historical discussion of feminism and patriarchal influence throughout the nineteenth century. Specifically, it creates questions about Doyle’s intentions as an author. Through Irene Adler’s successful escape and manipulation at the end of the text, could it be possible that Doyle is advocating for greater female independence and promoting early notions of feminist liberation? Or, like other renditions of the femme fatale, is Adler nothing more than a ‘monstrous’ character who is dangerous to a societal equilibrium—a point of discord—just as she is to both Holmes and the Bohemian King she blackmails (Lecture, September 20)? ‘Predominant’ but only under the defined and thus, restricting identity of “the woman”?
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