The Human Hero
He is a detective. He is a hero. He is a mystery solving a mystery. Sherlock Holmes, the brilliant creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is perhaps the most illustrious detective in English literature. His literary presence in my development has produced the blossom of critical and analytical thought as features of my intellect and affection for literature.
The paragon of truth through science and logic, his objective, reclusive mind is driven by an icy desire for the triumph of scientific reasoning over results intertwined with hot-blooded emotions. He is a solitary creature, not in fear of love or friendship, but instead due to a cautious instinct to preserve his gift, to keep it pure of adulterations like softer passions that could blur the parameters of logic. Holmes possesses neither supernatural abilities, nor any power out of man’s reach. His extraordinary instrument lies in his mind, and is not completely accredited to a genetic advantage, but instead is a result of years of molding, developing, and perfecting. He dominates an aptitude for deductive reasoning which needs only concrete facts to produce a genesis of blatant, but at the same time concealed solutions.
Holmes’s service is not reserved only for the highbrow members of society, but also for the poorest factions in need of his gift. He is a humanitarian with a detached sympathy for the world and, although isolated, represents a different type of approachable hero. The notable difference between Holmes and other heroes is Holmes’s ability to relate to the public. Like ordinary people, Holmes is subject to worldly limitations, such as the necessity for money, and assistance from external authorities to consummate the closing of a case. In addition, his personal shortcomings, which include a vanity complex and a taciturn egotism, humanize him because they dismantle the illusion of perfection so typical of archetypal superheroes.
It was this ostensible humanity within his character that first appealed to me. I came across this mystery series during a competition in my Gifted and Talented club during seventh grade. Albeit reluctant at first, I took on the challenge of reading a novel featuring the detective for the sake of helping my team. Reading the first few pages was enough to convince me that the novel was above my vocabulary level, the next few pages let me know that the novel was above my comprehensive level. However, the idiosyncratic distinction which set me apart from other classmates, my inherent craving to read compulsively, would not let me turn from this challenge. Gradually, the confounding mysteries and puzzles so characteristic of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries opened my mind to a new way of thinking. I found that my curiosity about the commonplace increased, my thirst for opportunities to use problem-solving skills enlarged, and my yearning to read was insatiable. In fact, the blend of this newfound inquisitiveness and my penchant for writing later stimulated my interest in journalism and politics. I will always feel a sense of loyalty to Sherlock Holmes. His stories have taught me different ways to approach quandaries, have inspired the writer within me, and have elevated my reading level. His weaknesses removed him from the usual pedestal idols are placed on, and his talent and dedication motivated me to think outside of the box.