Character Analysis of The Sign of Four Flashcards

What motivates Sherlock Holmes’s use of cocaine in The Sign of Four?

Holmes uses cocaine to stave off boredom and stimulate his mind when he lacks intellectual challenges. He states, “I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.”

How does Dr John Watson contribute to the narrative in The Sign of Four?

Watson brings emotional depth to the story, introduces a romantic subplot with Mary Morstan, and serves as a relatable narrator who makes Holmes’s world more accessible to readers.

How is Mary Morstan portrayed in The Sign of Four?

Mary Morstan is calm, composed, and the catalyst of the plot. She seeks Holmes’s help to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance, eventually becoming engaged to Watson.

What is the role of Athelney Jones in The Sign of Four?

Athelney Jones is a clumsy and often misguided police detective who highlights public skepticism towards the police. His portrayal emphasises Sherlock Holmes’s superior detective skills.

How does Major Sholto’s character contribute to the story?

Major Sholto is entangled in a plot involving the Agra treasure. He betrays his pact to keep the treasure, showing regret and guilt. His actions drive the plot and provide historical context about British colonialism in India.

What does Jonathan Small represent in The Sign of Four?

Jonathan Small represents greed and entitlement. Despite his criminal actions, he shows loyalty to his accomplices. His character critiques the arrogant attitude of the British Empire, especially towards those considered inferior.

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