Analysis: A Scandal In Bohemia

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The law was created to be an impartial set of guidelines for everyday society to follow, it draws upon the culture of a society to create the rules needed for a safe and productive community. However, occasionally the law is not as blind as it should be, it introduces prejudices due to ignorance and fear, to certain peoples and excludes them from the safety of the law and society. The law creates “gray areas” in relation to these people allowing them to be treated poorly in cases where it would otherwise be unacceptable. The short story A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle, reflects upon this through the use of characters withing the story, primarily Sherlock Holmes.

Firstly, Sherlock Holmes is crafted to be almost an anti-hero as he
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Watson. Despite the noble passion of solving crimes Sherlock and Watson occasionally will cross the line by breaking the law to solve crimes. For example, when the pair needed to figure out the location of the incriminating pictures of Irene Adler and King Wilhelm, Sherlock and Watson needed to first get into Adler’s house. When planning both Sherlock and Watson were very aware of the illegality of their actions, “‘You don’t mind breaking the law?’ ‘Not in the least.’” (Doyle, 9). Sherlock and Watson both planned to cause a ruckus outside Adler’s house and get her to invite Sherlock in, the illegal part was the fact that Watson hurled a smoke bomb through a window Sherlock managed to open. This was not the worst crime to commit but the fact that Sherlock broke the law remains. Sherlock is meant to be a private detective, one who upholds the law not someone who is supposed to hide behind it. Breaking the law to solve a crime is very dangerous, if one can justify breaking the law in a small way to solve a case, it is not much of a stretch to commit bigger crimes to solve cases. In the case of A Scandal in Bohemia, Sherlock was not even battling crime, he was working as a private consultant for a King to retrieve scandalous photos. This also brings into question why it was acceptable for a King to break the law multiple …show more content…
Holmes was based in a time where police forces such as Scotland Yard used Bertillonage was widely used to be sued in convictions, but he was ahead of his time in the field of forensics. He is often credited for helping Scotland Yard introduce technology such as fingerprinting and even used document analysis much before the FBI introduced it to their investigative procedures. Despite all this Holmes still uses a few stereotypes in his detective work, for example when explaining his plan to Watson he said, “When a woman thinks that her house is on fire, her instinct is at once to rush to the thing which she values most…A married woman grabs at her baby; an unmarried one reaches for her jewel-box.” (11, Doyle). Here Holmes assumes that every married woman ever would immediately rush to her child (the assumption here being that every married woman would have kids where some may choose not to) or an unmarried woman would only value her jewel box. The deeper assumption here is that all women would be creatures of instinct in times of trouble and would not question their own antics. This later comes to bite Holmes from behind as Adler was intelligent enough to know what had happened to her and covered it up quite well, thereby outsmarting the great Sherlock

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