Dr. John Watson: a Complement Who Compliments

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Submitted by to the category Literature on 11/17/2012 10:50 AM

Karilyn Johnson

MC #1174

Professor Aling

LIT1107

October 17, 2012

Word Count: 1,829

Dr. John Watson: A Complement Who Compliments

Is it possible for a person to be so clearly superior to others in intellect, observation, and reason, and yet be so utterly dependent on another in matters of routine life? It is. Such a condition exists in the brilliant personage of Sherlock Holmes, a man of renowned detective skills, who relies heavily on his ever-present assistant Dr. John Watson. To quote Dr. Watson as relating to Holmes, “I shall ever regard [him] as the best and wisest man whom I have ever known” (291). Such a compliment comes even from the man whom Holmes cannot function without, the man Dr. John Watson, who perfectly complements Holmes, so that Holmes may attain to the position of “best and wisest man” ever known. Watson not only compliments Sherlock Holmes through his narration of Holmes’ investigative ability, impersonating ingenuity, and discernment capability, but Watson also complements Holmes through his roles as personal aide, counselor, friend, and protector. Dr. John Watson is able to offer his compliments only because of his own complementary position to Sherlock Holmes.

Watson compliments Sherlock Holmes through his narration by revealing Holmes’ genius as an investigator. Watson never ceases to be shocked regarding Holmes’ ability to assemble the pieces of the puzzle and solve difficult cases. Watson informs readers how Holmes has, and always will have, “extraordinary powers of observation” (19). Through Watson’s colorful and life-filled biography and narration of Sherlock, readers get a glimpse into Holmes’s thought process in solving cases. Watson also explains how Holmes “[puts himself] in the man’s place, and having first gauged his intelligence, [he tries] to imagine how [he] should [himself] have proceeded under the same circumstances” (454). In cases Watson is involved in, when all seems lost to him, Holmes solves the crime. Watson...

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