Thursday, 5 May 2011

Themes in 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery'

Seeking the Truth

Being an investigator, Sherlock Holmes must take into account all the evidence put forward and analyse them to prove whether James McCarthy is innocent or not. If he had only relied on what the papers and rumours said about James, he would not be able to solve the case successfully. Weighing the facts, evidence, the accuser’s statement and the physical evidence at the crime scene, Sherlock Holmes proves that a thorough investigation to seek the truth will be worthwhile.

Keeping a secret

There are two instances where this is shown. The first instance is when Sherlock Holmes writes a letter inviting John Turner to his house wanting to see him to avoid scandal. It was at that moment; John Turner breaks down and confesses to the killing of Charles McCarthy. Sherlock Holmes later asks John Turner to write a confession letter and promises to use it only if James is found guilty. Towards the end of the story, John Turner dies; James gets out of prison and marries Alice.  Sherlock Holmes keeps his promise and desroyes the letter.
Next instance is when Charles McCarthy promises to keeep the old secret between him and John Turner about their past. He breaks his promises and uses it to blackmail John Turner, who has turned a new leaf and lives a well and respected life. Here , we can see how a secret can bring more harm than good.

Being Knowledgeable

Being knowledgeable really helps in solving the case. Sherlock Holmes, using his knowledge and experinces, cleverly solves the mystery. Knowing the word ‘cooee’ is an Australian word and associating ‘Raat’ with Ballarat really helps to narrow down the suspect. Next, when Sherlock Holmes is at the crime scene, he examines the footprints. He also takes into account the unusual mark on Charles’s  head and where he was hit. He also deduce that the murderer is a rich man from the ashes of the Indian cigar he found at the crime scene.

Law and Order

If you break the law, you will be punished. You should not take matters into your own hands. There are many ways to solve this problem and killing another human being is not one of it.

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