What are Doyle's views of the police force in 'The Red-Headed League' and 'The Cardboard Box'?-Compare and explore-Consider why he might convey a popular view-Language

Expert Answers
gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, we don't ever really know Doyle's view of the police force. We know how Sherlock Holmes views the police, and how Doyle portrays the police, but we should not assume that Doyle and Holmes share the same point of view.


That said, the police are shown to be tenacious and brave, and sometimes useful, especially for mundane matters, but not creative thinkers. They are far easier to baffle than Holmes, and far more likely to simply give up on a puzzle rather than staying with it to solve it. They also don't see clues as clearly. Take "The Red-Headed League" as an example.  The police would not have seen the meaning of the muddy knees of Mr. Wilson's assistant. Holmes recognizes the dirt as evidence that digging is going on, and deduces that there will be a bank robbery (which they can foil).


More generally, as Lestrade says in "The Cardboard Box:" "I cannot see the importance." He observes the same details as Holmes, but he cannot make anything of them. They can do only what they are trained to do; Holmes can make his mind leap.

Read the study guide:
The Red-Headed League

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question