How to Analyze the Literary Devices in A Scandal in Bohemia
A Scandal in Bohemia is one of the most famous stories featuring the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In this story, Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia to retrieve a compromising photograph from Irene Adler, a former lover of the king who threatens to expose their affair. However, Holmes meets his match in Adler, who outwits him and escapes with the photograph.
In this article, we will explore some of the literary devices that Conan Doyle uses to create a captivating and suspenseful story. We will focus on the following aspects:
The setting and its relation to the characters and themes
The point of view and its effect on the narration and characterization
The use of letters and photographs as symbols and plot devices
The irony and humor that pervade the story
The Setting and its Relation to the Characters and Themes
The story takes place in three main locations in London: Holmes's apartment on Baker Street, Adler's residence at Briony Lodge, and the Church of St. Monica. These locations reflect the different social spheres and statuses of the characters, as well as their motivations and actions.
Holmes's apartment is his base of operations, where he receives his clients and conducts his investigations. It is a modest but comfortable place, reflecting Holmes's professionalism and pragmatism. It is also a place where he can indulge in his hobbies, such as playing the violin or smoking his pipe. Holmes's apartment represents his rational and analytical mind, as well as his eccentricity and independence.
Adler's residence at Briony Lodge is a bijou villa, meaning a small but elegant house. It is a symbol of her wealth and social status, as well as her beauty and charm. It is also a place where she keeps her secrets, such as the photograph of her and the king. Adler's residence represents her intelligence and cunning, as well as her femininity and sentimentality.
The Church of St. Monica is where Adler marries her lover, Godfrey Norton, in a secret ceremony. It is a place of worship and sanctity, but also of deception and betrayal. It is where Holmes disguises himself as a clergyman to gain access to Adler's house, but also where he realizes that he has been outsmarted by her. The church represents the contrast between appearance and reality, as well as the theme of love versus power.
The Point of View and its Effect on the Narration and Characterization
The story is narrated by Dr. Watson, Holmes's friend and assistant. Watson is a reliable narrator who reports the events as he witnesses them or hears them from Holmes. However, Watson is also a limited narrator who does not know everything that Holmes knows or does. Watson often admires Holmes's skills and methods, but also questions his motives and actions. Watson provides an outsider's perspective on Holmes's character, but also reveals his own personality and opinions.
By using Watson as the narrator, Conan Doyle creates a sense of mystery and suspense for the reader, who follows Watson's discoveries and surprises along with him. The reader also gets to see Holmes through Watson's eyes, which enhances his charisma and mystique. However, Conan Doyle also challenges the reader to think beyond Watson's narration and try to solve the case before Holmes does.
The Use of Letters and Photographs as Symbols and Plot Devices
Letters and photographs are important elements in the story, as they serve both as symbols and plot devices. Letters are a common means of communication in the 19th century, but they also reveal information about the characters who write or receive them.
For example, the letter that Adler sends to Holmes at the end of the story explains her motives and actions, as well as her respect and admiration for him. It also contains a photograph of herself, which she gives to Holmes as a souvenir. The photograph is a symbol of her power over the king, who fears that she will use it to ruin his reputation. It is also a symbol of her love for Norton, whom she chooses over the king.
Photographs are also used as clues and evidence in the story. For instance, Holmes deduces that Adler has 29c81ba772