English II B
The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a book timed in the late 1800’s and located in London, England. In the book, two of the characters - Sherlock Holmes and Athelney Jones – are in many ways polar opposites. Athelney Jones is loud and obnoxious and views Sherlock Holmes as both unofficial and childish. In contrast Sherlock Holmes is detached and quiet and sees Athelney Jones as a bad detective that jumps to conclusions way to fast. Both characters have a rivalry going where each one try’s to outdo the other. By including such different characters as Jones and Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shows that being able to make an accurate judgment based on appearance leads to success.
Sherlock Holmes is able to make accurate judgments based on appearances. Holmes is very skilled at noticing things that others don’t. He can determine facts about an object simply by its appearance. An example of this is when Watson gives Holmes a pocket watch attempting to embarrass Holmes by giving him an impossible test. Holmes in return calmly tells Watson that “I should judge that the watch belonged to your elder brother, who inherited it from your father… He was a man of untidy habits -- very untidy and careless. He was left with good prospects, but he threw away his chances, lived for some time in poverty with occasional short intervals of prosperity, and finally, taking to drink, he died. That is all I can gather (10)." This shows that Holmes has a gift for making a lot out of a little since the watch was recently washed. Not only can Holmes judge objects but he can also read people based on appearance. Jonathan Small was accused for killing, stealing and resisting arrest and yet Holmes looks through the charges and sees that he might not a cold-blooded killer. During the interrogation of Small Holmes states that “you forget that we know nothing of all of this, said Holmes quietly. We have not heard your...