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What lessons can we possibly learn from this detective story that can be applied to...

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jnkeairns | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 8, 2011 at 10:41 AM via web

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What lessons can we possibly learn from this detective story that can be applied to life?

 

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 15, 2012 at 10:54 AM (Answer #1)

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The key idea that Conan Doyle seems to be projecting which could be a life lesson is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Jabez Wilson is taken in twice due to his greed and lack of common sense.

Vincent Spaulding offers to work for half of the pay that other assistants request. Wilson is aware of this, and takes advantage; not realizing that he is the one being taken advantage of. As Holmes says-

From the time that I heard of the assistant having come for half wages, it was obvious to me that he had some strong motive for securing the situation.

 

Similarly, Wilson cannot see the farcical nature of an organization such  as the Red Headed League offering large amounts of money for red haired men to copy out the Encyclopedia Brittanica. He sees only that he can make extra money with very little work and a qualification he was born with.

Wilson’s gullible and avaricious nature are used against him: he aims to get a lot for a little as, ironically, do the criminals who dupe him.

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