Narration From Sherlock Holmes's 'The Man With The Twisted Lipen'

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Narration is important to any story, but it inevitably makes or breaks a detective story. The narrator creates a connection between the characters in the book, including the narrator themself, and the reader. In a detective novel the narrator performs the role of the magnifying glass that great detectives use to hone in on the clues of the case. They help the reader identify what is of use and what is just description to the story, and ultimately uncover the solution to the case. This essay will discuss the differences in narration from Sherlock Holmes himself in “The Case of the Blanched Soldier” and Watson in “The Man with the Twisted Lip”. Specifically looking at how Watson’s narration is much more relatable to the common-person, with anxiety …show more content…
“The Case of the Blanched Soldier” is filled with long spoken narration from Holmes himself or the client. It is much less focused on the description of the material things, and more focused on the detection from which he can get from the dialogue. Watson in “The Man with the Twisted Lip” relies heavily on the description of the surroundings to make an attempt to do what Holmes does so naturally. A great example is of the envelope from Mr. St. Clair, “I had left my chair and was gazing at it over his shoulder. The envelope was a very coarse one and was stamped with the Gravesend postmark with the date of that very day…” (‘The Man with the Twisted Lip’ 453). The information here to Watson means nothing, so for the reader it means nothing. Krasner explains that, “his [Watson] desire for a stable, predictable world is apparent throughout the stories in his descriptive technique” (Krasner 426). The search for stability and predictability stems from the anxiety and fear of nonconforming social codes. The description is predictable and is steady, to Watson that is what makes sense. His desire to know what Holmes knows however creates anxiety “for certainty and order” (Krasner …show more content…
There is not another person to relay the story. Holmes directly talks to the reader, “It presented, as the astute reader will have already perceived, few difficulties in its solution” (‘Case of the Blanched Soldier’ 5). It is easy for Holmes to assume that the reader has seen exactly what he has seen; yet the reader does not. The reader is not informed of that information until Holmes has collected all the facts. It is this fact that separates Holmes and Watson’s narration. The structure of the narration of “The Man with the Twisted Lip” and many other Sherlock Holmes stories “are not structured around their protagonists detecting, but around their narrators frustrated desire to behold and comprehend that detecting” (Krasner 425). Watson’s frustration draws the reader close because they experience the same emotion. Krasner best explains this that Watsons frustration, “is created by his combination of mental distance and physical proximity to Holmes’s thoughts” (Krasner 425). Consequently the reader’s frustration is their need to “rely on Watson’s irritatingly mundane capacities for narrative revelation” (Krasner

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