1. itscoop

    itscoop New Member

    Jun 26, 2017
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    Sherlock Holmes Story Themes

    Discussion in 'Discussion of Published Works' started by itscoop, Jun 26, 2017.

    Hello everyone, some ideas about detective stories have crossed my mind recently and i chose this forum to share them. It might be a long post but i seriously find it interesting so i hope you consider reading. Thanks!

    First of all, i've been noticing that i apparently really like detective stories and characters that are strongly derived from the Sherlock Holmes lore. Now apparently, there are some interesting thematic similarities between these.

    Some examples are: Batman (Batman), Death Note (Detective L), House M.D. (Gregory House), Twin Peaks (Dale Cooper), and Sherlock (Sherlock). All of these characters have some gothic/noir atmospheric and thematic touches to them, and all these detectives have their Moriarty and Watson type characters surrounding them but there's something thematically integral that i've noticed that especially caught my attention.

    There seems to be a similar core pursuit in all of these stories to "never give up" and to push beyond fear and hate. A form of pursuit against nihilistic doom, a pursuit to push forward with love and hope and to keep going.


    Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks is left stuck in purgatory at the (original) end of the series. Throughout the story multiple characters talk about the fear of love not being enough against hate itself, and in the end Dale Cooper (this apparently fearless man) is left in the perfect allegory (the black lodge that represents hell and evil) in which he will forever have to fight hell and never give up. We all have to do this anyways in real life, but Dale Cooper is left stranded in the allegorical copy of this. And of course, Windum Earle, Cooper's Moriarty, is the personification of hate, fear, and evil, and makes it a very personal goal of his to attempt to destroy the essence of Cooper, the essence that Cooper personifies of love.

    Similarly the Batman lore has all these elements of the eternal struggle against the doppelganger (Joker is Moriarty) and the struggle against Fear and Depression, and never giving up.

    Here Bane send Batman to the literal purgatory with the aim of killing batman's spirit, it is a dark pit of hate, fear, destruction, nihilism, depression, and Batman has to fight against this and never give up.

    Same thing here with Owlman as a Doppelganger of Batman, they enter a nihilistic confrontation.

    Sherlock has to do the exact same thing against Moriarty. In the Abominable Bride episode.

    Moriarty represents fear, a virus, and Sherlock's phrase is "it's not the fall that kills you, it's the landing," of course reffering to the fact that only giving up against an eternal struggle with bring your ultimate downfall.

    All of these characters try to break the will in a very personal mirror-like confrontation. I understand that death vs hope and fear/hate vs love are very universal themes but apparently they are very strongly used in these detective archetypes.

    Gregory House also faces the same threat literally against a patient called Moriarty who shoots him and enters in this nihilistic dillemma about whether House should continue living.

    I found this very interesting. Here's one last video about this eternal pursuit.
  2. MrFletcher

    MrFletcher New Member

    Jul 25, 2016
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    I'm not really sure if having a "never give up" spirit was ever something essential to the Sherlock Holmes stories. Sure, he'd never be able to catch the criminal if he didn't pursue them with determination, but I always felt that the more important element was Holmes's deductive reasoning and extensive knowledge. At least in many of the earlier stories, Holmes never solved cases in order to push back fear, he did it because it was the only thing that could engage his intellect. Even his famous struggle against Moriarty was not against despair, or depression, but because he considered trading his own life to rid the world of the evil mastermind to be a noble cause. An entirely logical conclusion. Also, while I'm not familiar with many of your references, it was my impression that for Batman, the Joker wasn't an intellectual threat because he could match wits with Batman, but because he represented and embodied absolute madness, a madness a bit too familiar to Batman. Not, as in Holmes and Morality's cases, absolute equals, matched but opposite, geniuses fighting for law or chaos. I guess everyone interprets things in different ways, though. I'd be happy to discuss this further, I'm a bit of a Holmes geek. :)

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