The Misanthropic Holmes: “House” and “Sherlock”

“”It’s a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what. The weird thing about telling someone they’re dying is it tends to focus their priorities. You find out what matters to them. What they’re willing to die for. What they’re willing to lie for.” – Gregory House, “Three Stories.” House

“I may be on the side of the angels…but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.”
-Sherlock Holmes, “The Reichenbach Fall.”  Sherlock

By Jonathan Morris,

Widely regarded as the greatest, the most influential, and certainly the most popular detective in the history of world literature, Sherlock Holmes and his appeal may just transcend that of the mystery genre itself.

You see, while the best of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories were excellent mysteries centered on intriguing and compelling deductions, so much of what makes Sherlock Holmes beloved to the point of devotion for so, so many really lies in the character of the man himself.  The world’s first, and only, consulting detective has been interpreted and reinterpreted time and time again, with presentations both vast and varied, but what truly makes him so undeniably interesting is that he’s so unlike any other main character you’ll find in the literature of his time, or even of most times since.  Holmes typically doesn’t strive to win the love of a girl. He’s not interested in wealth or fame or power. And only on rare occasions does he take a true interest in upholding or protecting the greater good.  He eschews relationships, despises romance, and views the righting of wrongs as less a moral imperative than a source of distraction from, at best, boredom, and, at worst, habitual drug abuse. Continue reading “The Misanthropic Holmes: “House” and “Sherlock””

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