How does Conan Doyle present Holmes as unique?

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced readers to Sherlock Holmes, the masterful detective skilled in the art of deduction, in his first novel, A Study in Scarlet. Doyle’s second novel, The Sign of the Four , works to add depth to the character of Holmes and helps to cement him...

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced readers to Sherlock Holmes, the masterful detective skilled in the art of deduction, in his first novel, A Study in Scarlet. Doyle’s second novel, The Sign of the Four, works to add depth to the character of Holmes and helps to cement him as unique, specifically through his drug use and his inability or unwillingness to marry.

In The Sign of the Four, a complex plot unravels surrounding a stolen treasure from India and an unlikely alliance between four criminals and two prison guards.

When not actively solving a crime, Holmes often partakes in illicit drug use, chiefly cocaine. The assumption is that a detective would be obsessed with upholding the law and that any illegal drug use would be avoided in accordance with the law. However, the reader comes to understand that Holmes is not obsessed with uploading the law; instead, he is obsessed with uncovering the truth through the art of deduction. When his mind is not actively consumed on an active case, he finds other ways to achieve a similar stimulus. This serves to add incredible depth to his character.

At the end of the novel, the reader learns that Watson proposes to Mary Morstan and that she accepts. This is used to juxtapose the Holmes's nature as a bachelor. Instead of dedicating his life to a marriage partner, the reader understands that he has already dedicated his life to the art of deduction.

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