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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

First Person (Peripheral Narrator)

Watson, the narrator, is definitely a main character in these stories. So why don't we call him a "Central Narrator"? Because Watson is telling his own story, sure, but only insofar as that story relates to Mr. Sherlock Holmes. We never hear more than a paragraph or two of Watson's experiences when Holmes isn't around. Holmes is clearly the focus of Watson's storytelling, so Watson is a "Peripheral Narrator," then: he interprets the life of a close friend for us, the readers. This makes Watson a biased narrator (how many times does he remind us of his simple faith in Holmes's abilities?) but probably not as biased as Holmes would be about himself.


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