Imagine you are in the 18th century of Victorian and Edwardian London, the south of England, continental Europe. You have just returned from a fatal battle and you are wounded. You live a comfortless life in London since you have no friends nor family.
In “A Study In Scarlet”, the first book of the famous Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle, the narrator of this story, John Watson, a wounded discharged military surgeon returns to London from the war in Afghanistan. He is looking for lodgings and a companion.John meets an old acquaintance called Stamford. Watson tells him his problems and Stamford tells Watson that he knows someone. Stamford takes John to see the man.
They introduce each other and shakes hands. Suddenly, the man guesses that John has been in Afghanistan before. John is in utter astonishment. The man John met is Sherlock Holmes. After meeting, they move into 221B Baker Street. As they move in, Holmes tells Watson that he is the world’s only Consulting Detective. Soon, Holmes is asked to help investigate a bizarre death at Lauriston Gardens by Scotland Yard’s best inspectors Lestrade and Gregson. Watson was shocked by Holmes’ deductive powers on how he found clues faster than the inspectors.
There are two main settings in this book. The first one is in London, England, when Sherlock Holmes and John Watson first meet and become flatmates in 221B Baker Street. 221B is described as “A couple of comfortable bedrooms and a single large airy sitting room, cheerfully furnished and illuminated by two broad windows.” The second one is in the Lauriston Gardens, where they find the body. No.3 Lauriston Gardens is described as “A large square room, looking all the larger from the absence of all furniture.
A vulgar flaring paper adorned the walls, but it was blotched in places with mildew, and here and there great strips had become detached and hung down, exposing the yellow plaster beneath. A thick layer of dust coated the whole apartment.” Conan Doyle described the main character, Sherlock Holmes, really well. Sherlock, as John described him, “He is rather over six feet tall, and is so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. Eyes as sharp and his chin has prominence and squareness. His hands are stained with chemicals and has a delicacy of touch.
” What John noticed is that Sherlock is cold and distant, and he does not truly care for people wanting to help him. He once said, “Alone is what I have, alone protects me.” Holmes importance to this story is that he is the one that solves the crime. He looks at things in another way, so he solves the case faster.The author likes to use the style, “point of view”.
John is the narrator of this story. That is why in the story, the author uses “I” instead of “he” when John is talking. In the very first chapter, John says: “In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the university of London and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army.” Conan Doyle uses first person view, so we can see what John is thinking about.