Gothic elements in sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories

Çağlıyan, Murat
The aim of this thesis is to analyse the use of Gothic elements in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. It begins with an overview of Gothic and detective fiction, pointing out the Gothic novels published in the late Victorian period, and referring to the Gothic influence on Poe, Dickens, and Collins who are important writers in the development of detective fiction. In this way, it is revealed that the presence of Gothic elements in the Sherlock Holmes stories is part of the writing fashion of the era. The thesis then analyses the Holmes stories which present significant Gothic elements in terms of terror, horror and the supernatural. In addition, it examines the whole Holmes canon in an endeavour to find out the Sherlock Holmes character’s similarity to the Byronic hero who often appears in Gothic fiction. As a result, this study shows that Gothic elements contribute to the Sherlock Holmes stories in two ways. Firstly, they add to the depiction of minor characters, the setting, and the atmosphere of these stories. Secondly, they manifest themselves in the portrayal of the character of Holmes himself. Thus, the use of Gothic elements enables Doyle to create suspenseful and surprising stories with a strikingly memorable detective figure.
Citation Formats
M. Çağlıyan, “Gothic elements in sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.