Two famous writers in history, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie

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Two famous writers in history, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859-1930) and Agatha Christie (1890-1976) are names tied up to the genre of mystery. Adults and kids all around the world have enjoyed the stories of detective fiction where the reader is part of the story and it’s their job to find the culprit. The stories are a variety of diverse mysteries created for anyone to enjoy. The detective adventure stories of Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, and the stories of Poirot by Agatha Christi are recognized around the countries. These detective stories were translated to different languages due to their popularity. Nowadays technology and the sciences have improved so as the ways of writing. In literature mystery has changed, since laws are being made and the government officials are getting stronger. Sherlock Homes and Poirot broke into residences many times in the look for evidence, where nowadays that would have nee considered invalid evidence since there was no search warrant for it. The stories of Sherlock and Poirot portrayed easy times for detectives since law and order was not stronger yet and technology was yet to be improved.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a writer that had the knowledge to create the famous mystery stories in the form of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle created Sherlock in a time where technology was a new discovery. Agatha Christie was a short-story writer who is known for her short mystery stories. Christie created detective Poirot in a time where technology was starting to advance. During the times where technology was a new source of knowledge crime solving was based on interviews and evidence. It was not as easy as zooming into a blurred picture, the stories of Sherlock and Poirot represent cases that are like almost impossible puzzles to solve. Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes have a wide quantity of similarities yet both detectives share differences and are unique in their own style. Christie started writing and creating Poirot two decades later after Conan Doyle created Sherlock. Both author share ideas in their style of writing a mystery story but Christie never stole any ideas from Conan Doyle. The following paper looks to create a comparative analysis between the two characters, study their methods regarding deductive abilities and explore their characteristics. The essay will introduce the reader to Sherlock Homes and Hercules Poirot. It will be followed by the differences and similarities, ending with a brief analysis of the characteristics of mystery including the setting and timeline in each of their stories. Before analyzing these two important detectives it is necessary an introduction to the authors.

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Arthur Conan Doyle was born in a family of nobles, his mom usually told him stories about knights and battles. The tales of chivalry introduced him to the knights’ code which he began to follow, ‘fight for what is right and defend the weak’ (Pascal 11). During free time Doyle was known for creating fictional characters based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, the detective Auguste Dupin for example. Poe influenced Doyle to create his own detective character. Doyle’s first detective novel ‘The Study in Scarlet,’ was published in 1887. The novel did not become successful until Doyle published more short stories in 1891. The public was more into Doyle’s short detective stories (Davies 319). Sherlock Holmes became a well know detective character all around the world. Since the creation of Holmes in 1887 till nowadays the character receives over 200 letter every month to the famous address 221B Baker Street. This place is now a museum dedicated to Holmes. Sherlock Holmes has appeared in every media including television series, movies, anime, comic books, etc. (Thompson 495). Sherlock Holmes’s is so well known that even people who have never read any of Doyle’s works will see the figure of a character wearing a cape and smoking a pipe and they will know is a detective since it is Sherlock Holmes image (O’Brien 1-11). Arthur wrote sixty Sherlock Holmes stories where the reader is introduced to other characters.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was a World War 1 nurse. During her service time she began writing detective stories, her first book is called The Mysterious Affairs at Styles where she introduces the detective Hercule Poirot. (Christie The A.B.C. Murders). Agatha created various detectives but her most famous one became Poirot. She regrets creating Poirot old it is a character that needs to age but its popularity among the readers does not decrease (Zemboy 16). The detective character of Poirot appeared in 33 novels and 65 stories.

Both the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Poirot share similarities between them as well as different personalities. The role that each character play in each detective story as well as their significance is similar although they have different structures. Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes are the protagonist in almost every story of each author. When describing and contrasting the physical appearances of each detective they are different. Sherlock Homes is described as tall, slant, black hair, grey eyes and between 30-35 years of age. Poirot is not physical, military moustache and is in his 60s. Holmes is young and strong on the other hand Poirot is old and short.

Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot personalities are also very different. Poirot has an obsession with being clean while Holmes can be various days without taking a shower. Poirot is a very social person, he is very kind and does not have difficulties talking to other people. Holmes is an introvert, he does not like to speak to many people, he likes to go straight to the point and be alone. He can get irritated but he can also control his temper. Poirot has no interest in a family, women or children but he is a very respectful man and is very comforting. On the other hand, Holmes does not tolerate their presence.

The way each detective solves mystery is surprisingly very different. As described in the beginning a genre that is so small provides room for different types of detectives. Poirot is the detective that works with his mind and leave the physical work to his colleagues. Holmes on the other hand likes to do everything by himself. He believes on getting more information when one is part of the process, there is times where Holmes will disguise himself to obtain information. He has no fear to people and if it’s necessary he will take action himself and run after murderers and suspects. Poirot likes to be recognized he is amused when regular citizens approach him and gets annoyed when they don’t. On the Other hand, Holmes is very reserved and solves cases for fun not for recognition. When in come to work Poirot is very organized, he has a secretary that orders and files his cases. Holmes is the contrary to this, he will file his own cases in his living room and wait for Watson to arrive for him to document their findings.

Although both detectives seem to be different from the way the look, to the way they organize their lifestyle, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot are similar in various ways. The very first similarity is that they are both detectives and their homes both serve as offices and a place to live. Both detectives have their small circle of colleagues they trust. Sherlock Holmes is always accompanied by Watson and Hercules by Hastings. Both detectives are recognized as better than the Scotland Yard inspectors and sometimes they will help the criminal justice officer in their cases. Holmes as well as Poirot don’t believe in romantic relationships or having children. Although they only have one woman present in their life. In the case of Sherlock, Mrs. Hudson is always there for him, in the case of Poirot his secretary Miss Lemon will aid him. Both detectives are very prideful of their work, they do like to get acknowledge when they solve a case but they get irritated when they ask them useless question or give them simple cases. The reason for this is that they think they are getting insulted by giving them cases that do not have much importance or are easy. Although various of these cases result to have more meaning. In the case of Sherlock in one of his stories called “The Copper Beeches”, Sherlock is asked by a woman to give an advice whether she should accept a job offer or not. Sherlock think of himself as being asked unimportant business however the woman situation turn out to be frightening. In the case of Poirot in his story called “The Adventure of the Clapham Cook,” the detective is asked by a rude woman to find one of her chefs that has disappeared. Poirot turns down her case for being so simple and at the end he realizes that there was more than a chef that had disappeared. Both detectives have the similar trait where they feel useless or bored when they do not have an important case to work on. (The Complete Short Stories 251-262), (Adventures 335-367)

The way of writing of both stories has influenced the genre of mystery. Both detectives have set basis for future detectives to come. The stories of Sherlock Holmes and Poirot are recognized in literature. They have characters and stories that the readers have enjoyed throughout the years. The author of Write Great Fiction once said that the plot of a mystery story needs to have three steps called “The three act structure” to create an amazing story without focusing if it is, either a movie or a book (Bell 23-25).

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Two famous writers in history, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. (2022, Aug 20). Retrieved from

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