7 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2016
    1. My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Giveme problems, give me work, give me the most ab-struse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis,and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I candispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhorthe dull routine of existence. I crave for mentalexaltation. That is why I have chosen my own par-ticular profession,—or rather created it, for I amthe only one in the world.”

      This selection of texts raises multiple questions when we read it. The heaviest question that we see at the surface, seems to be "what validates our existence?" For Sherlock Holmes it seems to be the idea of busy work, or at least work that distracts you from the paralyzing monotony of our everyday lives. There is a quote from a twentieth century French philosopher Albert Camus who states something to the effect of: “the struggle itself towards the height is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." What does this mean? Simply, Camus argues it is imperative to our survival and our happiness that we are constantly at battle with something in our lives. Sherlock Holmes, who finds his everyday life to be too simplistic and monotonous for survival, seeks out means to stimulate his expansive and industrious consciousness from drowning in his own boredom and eternal cosmic impermanence as a means of validating his own existence. The very reason that Holmes takes cases that are overly puzzling and excessively complex is because it validates his existence and sedates his mind like narcotics in a bee hive, which is exactly what Camus states is essential to human survival. Sisyphus

    2. You are right,” I answered. “It was cleanedbefore being sent to me.” In my heart I accusedmy companion of putting forward a most lame andimpotent excuse to cover his failure. What datacould he expect from an uncleaned watch?

      This gives context to money in this time period. We know it is a large sum based on their reactions, obviously, but clarifies each person's situation based on their reaction as well. It gives Sherlock and Watson context to how well off Miss Morstan is, and it gives us, the reader, a base for Sherlock and Watson's financial situation as well.

    3. We followedthe Indian down a sordid andcommon passage, ill lit and worse furnished, untilhe came to a door upon the right, which he threwopen

      Here is some segregation of cultures, I believe it is key to understanding more about 18th century customs and regulations. They are in a shabby neighborhood which is predominantly Indian, this could be intentional or just writing what was true at the time.

    4. What a very attractive woman!

      Sort of a little foreshadowing here, with Watson's emotions being displayed flamboyantly.

    5. So much is observation. Therest is deduction.”

      This is a classic Sherlock quote, it explains his intelligence in a way that fits Sherlock's attitude and presence. This is a really good way to have believable characters, they say things you would expect them to say.

    6. “The only unofficial detective?” I said, raisingmy eyebrows.

      It is interesting how much sarcasm is used in this story, it highlights the beliefs and the culture of the time in a way that we in the future can interpret similarly.

    7. “It is cocaine,”he said,—“a seven-per-cent solution. Would youcare to try it?

      It is actually a little comical how nonchalant this seems, though for historical context, this was actually quite common, most of the poverty that was exhibited during this time involved addiction to opiates or other now-illegal drugs.