From the moment that Doctor Mortimer told him about the curse of the Baskervilles, he believed that there was a rational explanation for it. This is shown when Doctor Mortimer finishes telling Holmes about the curse and he asks Holmes what he makes of the story, Holmes replies that he thinks that it may be interesting “to a collector of fairy tales,” in other words, he does not believe it. This undermines the myth, but also undermines Mortimer. This is because Mortimer believes passionately in the Hound of the Baskervilles and Holmes tells him that it would be interesting to a fairy tales collector.
From this quote alone, we can see that Holmes does not believe in the curse and that he thinks there is a scientific explanation for it. It is also interesting to note that Holmes does not focus on the hound, but on the owner of this dog. When he sends Watson to Baskerville hall, with Sir Henry Baskerville, he tells him to report back on “the relations between young Baskerville (Henry) and his neighbours. ” This shows that Holmes does not think that the hound is a supernatural phenomenon that is capable of working alone, but that it has a master who controls it; therefore he is suspicious of the locals.
This also makes Holmes seem as though he is not a superstitious character, but a logical one. This is because he does not believe in the ‘curse’ that every one else does. Holmes does not only use his clear and logical mind to solve crimes, but he uses a wide range of forensic methods. An example of such method is when he uses typology. He uses this when Sir Henry Baskerville receives a note from an anonymous source saying “As you value your life or reason keep away from the moor. ” Holmes realises very quickly that the words have been cut from a newspaper and stuck on a piece of paper.
He is then able to deduce from the type of the text that the words have been cut from the Times newspaper. He then deduces more information from it by saying that it had been cut in a hurry using a “pair of short bladed scissors” and the person who sent it was an “educated man,” this is because he reads the times and that he was possibly the man who was following them earlier. This shows that Holmes uses forensic skills to aid him so that he can draw as much as possible from a certain piece of information that he is given or that he has gathered.
Holmes gathers this data by using many different tools. These tools are not only objects but are people. An example of a tool that Holmes uses is a “convex lens. ” He uses this when he is examining the stick that the unknown visitor has left. This is so that he can see the smaller details on the stick which may not be visible to the naked eye. After looking at the stick through the lens, he tells Watson that his conclusions were “erroneous. ” This means that Holmes has clearly found other positive results. These results may not have been visible at a quick glance, such as the bite marks on the stick.
Holmes can then expand on these ideas and learn more about the owner of the stick. This method is a bit like a scientist’s method. This is because a scientist also uses magnifying tools, such as a microscope to view things that are not visible to the naked eye, for example, cells. Watson could also be considered a tool that Holmes uses. He uses Watson to collect information and facts such as when he sends him to Baskerville Hall and tells him “I wish you simply to report the facts in the fullest possible manner to me.
” This makes Watson seem as though the only use that he is to Holmes while at Baskerville hall, is as a reporter of facts. It makes Watson seem as though he is the ‘puppet’ and Holmes is the ‘puppeteer’. This means that Holmes is always in control and that Watson only gets informed about what he needs to know. This is shown when it emerges that Holmes has been watching Watson, Baskerville hall and everything that has been going on from the view of one of the prehistoric cave men’s huts, on the moor, however, Watson was under the impression that Holmes was in London.
Using these tools, Holmes is able to solve the curse of the Hound of the Baskervilles; however, he also uses methods which only a naturally good detective possesses. An example of a method that Holmes uses is his ability to see people’s faces, not the details surrounding it such as hair. This is shown when Holmes is having dinner with Stapleton and Watson. While eating, Holmes looks at a portrait on the wall and appears to be studying it in depth. Once Stapleton leaves the room, Holmes takes Watson for a closer look at the portrait, but Watson does not see anything.
However, when Holmes takes a lamp and covers up the persons hair, he realises immediately that it is the face of Stapleton. Holmes tells Watson that his eyes “have been trained to examine faces and not their trimmings. ” He then goes onto say that “It is the first quality of a criminal investigator that he should see through a disguise. ” This shows us that Holmes is not only a good detective, but that he uses methods similar to a scientists. This is because scientists work in the same manner, for example, they examine things, make a prediction, test their prediction and then use the results to draw other conclusions.
This method can also be seen when Holmes is talking about threads which connect his case together and probability. In this particular example, Holmes is trying to ascertain whether the person who was following him in London was Barrymore, so he sends a telegram to be delivered into “Barrymore’s own hands” and if Barrymore is not present, to send it back to London. Holmes also has a clear and logical mind as he has to juggle many different theories around and test them at the same time. This is shown when he says “We hold several threads in our hands… sooner or later we must come upon the right.
” For these reasons, Sherlock Holmes can be likened to a leading Victorian scientist such as Darwin; this is because they both destroy myths using a scientific method and also use forensic methods to help to destroy their theories they were concerned with. The tools that Holmes uses such as a “convex lens” also show that he uses a variety of different methods to solve crime. Using this information, Holmes can then use induction and deduction to solve complex problems and mysteries. Therefore, Sherlock Holmes can be considered for these reasons, an embodiment of Victorian ideas of progress.