Watson has a poetic imagination and is good at describing things as Watson describes Holmes as very thin, very wrinkled, bent with age, an opium pipe dangling down between his knees, as though it had dropped in sheer lassitude from his fingers¦ (Pg 28 MWTL). The description is made before Watson realizes that it is Holmes and not a stranger. The description shows how Watson goes into great detail to describe something and how far his imagination takes him. He is in many stories a soldier of the old school and has deep and genuine feelings for Holmes as quotes your cases have indeed been of the greatest interest to me(pg1 RHL) .
This shows that Watson cares for Holmes and is interested in the same things as Holmes and they both have a deep understanding as they both know about the case and how interesting Watson thinks Holmess cases have been. Holmes always thinks he can rely on Watson in case he fails to understand something or is in a tight spot as Watson goes to investigate the Opium den by himself and happens to bump into Holmes who is in trouble and Watson says (MWTL pg28) ¦ I have a cab outside¦ (Holmes)¦ Then pray, send me home in it.
This shows how useful Watson is to Holmes and How he sorts out Holmess problems. We also learn from the stories that Watson sometimes goes into missions himself. Watson is described by Holmes as reliable as Holmes says in The Last Bow. Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. Holmes knows that he can rely on Watson to sort out some problems. Watson also shows his feelings for Holmes and how well he knows Holmes (TLB pg122 )as he quotes There was something very strange in all this.
It was not Holmess nature to take an aimless holiday. Watson clearly know that it Holmes wouldnt take an aimless holiday as he knows him very well and looks out for Holmes as well. Conan Doyle has created Watson to make the stories more interesting he has created a character with a good imagination. Also in most of the Sherlock Holmes stories we believe that Watson is telling the story so it is presumed that they are his points of view and so the stories would be different if Watson isnt there.
To get the functions of Watson I have to study some facts. I am going to examine Watson and his history. I have to find out what sort of character Watson is and his background. Also I have to see how Watson and Holmes are a kind of double-act as they both rely on each other. Watson in many stories always sets the scene or atmosphere. It says in the introduction of Sherlock Holmes Stories that Conan Doyle loved all exotic things. We can get the idea of what sort of exotic things as we see Watsons ways of describing things.
Watson is described as a sympathetic character although Holmes feels he is always exasperated by him in some stories (MWTL Pg29) Holmes quotes I suppose Watson, said he, that you imagine that I have added opium-smoking to cucaine injections and all other little weaknesses on which you have favoured me with your medical views This quote shows that Holmess doesnt want Watson interfering in his Private life of what he does and doesnt want to hear What improvements Watson as for him in improving his life.
Although Watson isnt a very bright character he has a more romantic, less practical imagination than Holmes and is useful in stories as he provides the reader with impressive descriptions. For instance in MWTL Watson says (talking about his wife) Folk who were in grief came to my wife like birds to a lighthouse. Watson also has a poetic imagination when he describes certain events.
We expect him to be a character like Holmes as they both are alike as they have the same taste in some things like Watson likes being involved in Holmess cases as Watson quotes your cases have indeed been of the greatest interest to me(pg1 RHL) but Watson is not as good as Holmes in solving cases as Homes is more Intellectual and has a good imagination. Watson is always there with Holmes and helps him out. He is a believable character as when he describes something its like he was actually there and it makes you believe him.
Watson and Holmes are a kind of double-act as they both rely in each other as (MWTL) Watson is first to investigate the Opium den and is surprised to see Holmes there in disguise. And then when Holmes needs to get away, Watson has a cab which is useful to Holmes for his getaway as Watson quotes ¦ I have a cab outside¦ (Holmes)¦ Then pray, send me home in it. You must safely trust him, fir he appears to be top limp to get into any mischief¦ if you will wait outside I will be with you in five minutes¦ .
This shows how Watson is there for Holmes and Watson is a good man ass he listens to Holmes as he says (pg29 MWTL) it was difficult to refuse any of Sherlock Holmess requests¦ . Also when Watson doesnt understand something or is mixed-up up Holmes is always there to help him out. (MWTL pg29) (Watson) I came to find a friend. (Holmes) and I to find an enemy (Watson) an enemy?¦ . Watson is clearly lost as he thinks he knows all about Holmes and then finds that Holmes came to look for an enemy and he doesnt know about it.
Watson is a character who speaks for the reader as when Holmes is explaining something it is sometimes difficult to understand so Watson gets Holmes to repeat the explanation for the benefit of the reader. As in The Red Headed League Watson says to Holmes how, in the name of good fortune did you know all that? . This is how Watson gets Holmes to explain his reasoning. Also when he gets Holmes to explain Holmes always goes a little further and explains the case from the beginning so the reader doesnt have to think back Holmes explains(RHL pg 3) Your hands, my dear sir.
Your right hand is quite a size larger than your left¦ then Holmes goes on explaining and that shows how Holmes always goes a little further. Another thing that Watson does for us is that he sets the scene or the mood of the situation. As when he starts in the beginnings of stories he always describes what he did and how he did something. As in the story The man with the twisted lip Watson describes the way he went and he starts I walked down the narrow passage between the double row of sleepers, holding my breath to keep out the vile, stupefying fumes of the drug¦
they could only come from the side, and yet he sat as absorbed as ever, very thin, very wrinkled, bent with age and a opium pipe dangling¦ . These are some of the descriptions Watson makes. And by these descriptions we can learn that it was cramped and smelly in Victorian London and there were a lot of people sleeping rough. Watson uses a lot of descriptive words in stories to describe things and is very good at describing things. As the quote above is his description of Holmes, which at first he doesnt realise that it is Holmes as Holmes is in disguise.
Also by looking at some of the stories we can tell that Watson admired Holmes a lot. As in TFP after Holmes supposedly has died Watson says ¦ whom I shall regard as the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known this shows us what Watson thought of Holmes. Also Holmes admires Watson a lot as he writes him the letter about him going to be killed. This shows that Holmes cared for Watson enough to leave a letter for him. Watson has a knightly attitude to life he gets on well with most people . unlike Holmes who sometimes takes things into his own hands as he thinks he knows best and therefore isnt like by many people like the police.
He is always doing good things and therefore people go to him for help as (MWTL pg25) the lady quotes I didnt know what to do, so I came to you. This shows that he can also help people like Holmes. In the Sherlock Holmes stories there is a lot of historical language used and sometimes they are hard to understand as nowadays people dont use Victorian words. Some of the words are used in Watsons and Holmess descriptions . In RHL story words like ejaculated which is another word for exclaimed are used which are historical words, also jobs were called berths in Victorian times.
And also there were things called a ledger which were like a record-book. The language was used because the story was set in Victorian times and it was set in Victorian London. In conclusion Conan Doyle has been successful in the creation of Watson as if Watson wasnt in the Holmes stories than the stories would have been different as different characters have different minds. The stories are always more interesting when there are good guys in them and Watson is a good guy also without Watson the Holmes stories would be immensely different.
If Watson wasnt in the stories than they would have been less entertaining and unexciting as there wouldnt be the high-quality descriptions form Watson and the stories would have been dull. And if Watson wasnt in the stories than Conan Doyle could have made another character like Watson but named the character different. I think that Watson is an interesting character and if he wasnt there than the stories will not be the same as Holmes would not have an associate and wouldnt have help with him when he goes to unravel mysteries. The stories also would be less exciting.