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Bellanira Puentes Professor Haas Writing 37 2 February 2014 Watsons Lack of Deduction Conan Doyle uses his analytical skills to show how any super hero needs a side kick. Dr. John H. Watson has many roles in Conan Doyles stories. His main characteristic is being Sherlock Holmes sidekick. One reason why he cannot be the superhero is because of his lack of deduction which is very important in these novels or short stories. Watson has the potential to be a good detective as well, but he misses many essential points. In some cases, Watson is forced to do the thinking when Holmes isnt around. In The Hound of the Baskervilles Holmes and Watson go on their separate ways as Holmes has requested it. Watson is then exposed to all the information and evidence and on his own he must deduce as well as he can without having Holmes to figure it all out. Watson is again left alone in The Final Problem and uses his own deduction skills where he fails as well to deduce what really happened. He is revealed the truth later on by Holmes in a different short story called The Adventure of the Empty House. The genre convention that intrigues most of the Sherlock Holmes fans is Watsons lack of deduction which makes him similar to ourselves. Watson is not always one hundred percent correct on what he observes. An example to this is from Conan Doyles Hound of the Baskervilles he must be of Spartan habits and cared little for the comforts of life. When I thought of the heavy rains and looked at the gaping roof I

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understood how strong and immutable must be the purpose which had kept him in that inhospitable abode. Was he our malignant enemy, or was he by chance our guardian angel? (The Hound of the Baskervilles 88). Here, Watson is speaking and we can see how he thinks through this situation and his observations as well. He uses the term Spartan habits to describe the strangers characteristics. Yet he didnt know he was talking about his own partner. Conan Doyle like to use adjectives like the one here. He states that the roof is gaping and it makes it a difficult place to live with the heavy rain. He says that it must be a difficult living condition and he shows this by showing us how that roof is set up. Watson also notices that this person has critical goals that cannot be changed. Although it may be important to Watson to have this quality, it is better for us as readers for Watson not to know everything like Holmes. It keeps us wondering, like himself, and we can relate to the character. This is something that Conan Doyle knew too. He sets ups the situation for Watson as we would also be reading it and it engages our thinking. Conan Doyle uses this genre convention to keep the stories alive and always engaging the audience. Another short example to accompany this is when Watson believes Holmes to be dead. The readers also believe that Holmes is dead because of all the evidence that we were given as well. This story is told in the point of view of Watson which only lets us see what he wants us to. Watson followed to his conclusions but didnt look deep into the scene to notice Holmes true destiny. He followed tracks and the final note meant for him put him to his final belief which wasnt true in the end. According to Masterpiece theatre/ The Hound of the Baskervilles the sidekick is an important part of a mystery genre. Clues accumulate, and are often revealed to the reader

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through a narrator like Watson, who is a loyal companion to the brilliant detective. The detective grasps the solution to the crime long before anyone else, and explains it all to the "Watson" at the end. (Masterpiece theatre) This is saying that we need someone with the same intelligence as us, like Watson, in order to have someone explain what is going on. Conventions of Fantasy/Mystery Films also states the importance of a helper like Watson The helpers can sometimes be actually more intelligent than the hero himself, such as John Watson in Sherlock Holmes, although Watson is well educated he cannot solve the crimes himself, which happens to most helpers, as this is down to the hero. This quotes says the same thing but adds on that the helper may be smart and well-educated but would not be able to solve the crime on his own. These two quotes basically state and know what the public wants. They like trying to solve the mystery themselves and hope that they will be right in the end. From the passage above we can see Watson asking himself questions and that makes us wonder the answer. Watson says Was he our malignant enemy, or was he by chance our guardian angel? and this makes some readers think that it could be an evil mastermind against him while others believe that it could be someone to help him. Once the truth is revealed the reader senses a relief. Watsons lack of deduction make up the Sherlock Holmes stories. He writes all the adventures. This genre convention in a mystery is important and usually expected for a mystery. Even today we always expect the one always by the side of the hero. Many novels, TV shows, and movies portray this sidekick. Sometimes they may twist his character around but there is always the second lead. Watson is a good character and this is his own genre convention proves it to the people and to professional writers as well.

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Works Cited "Hannahlovescomedy's Blog." Hannahlovescomedys Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014. Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles. Copenhagen: Aschehoug, 1991. Web. Doyle, Arthur Conan, Mo Lebowitz, and William Stuart Baring-Gould. Sherlock Holmes, the Final Problem. North Bellmore, NY: Antique, 1969. Web. Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Adventure of the Empty House. Paisley: Gleniffer, 1994. Web. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/hound,PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.