The Sign Of Four Themes

Wealth and Treasure, Emotion and Rationality, Imperialism and Foreignness, Crime and Justice, The Scientific Method, Attitudes to Women

View mindmap
  • The Sign Of The Four - Themes
    • Attitudes Towards Women
      • Dr Watson
        • "What a very attractive woman!" -  Mary' sbest feature in the eyes of Watson is that she attracts him
        • "After the angelic fashion of women, she had borne trouble with a calm face as long as there was someone weaker than herself to support … in the cab however, she turned faint and then burst into a passion of weeping" - Watson sees Mary and women I general as completely different beings to men, they give emotional support but are also weak and cannot deal with stressful situations
      • Mary Morstan
        • "Her face had neither regularity of feature nor beaty of complexion, but her expression was sweet and amiable"
          • "Her Large blue eyes were singularly spiritual and sympathetic"
        • "Miss Morstan had remained behind with the frightened housekeeper"
        • "...kindly, womanly comfort"
        • Mary is the perfect example of the Victorian woman - she is quiet, refined, ladylike and needs the help of the male main characters.
      • Thaddeus Sholto
        • "Besides, it would have been such bad taste to have treated a young woman in so scurvy a fashion" - sees women as weak and innocent, needing protection
      • Context
        • In Victorian times women were supposed to focus on the domestic sphere and looking after children. They were seen as inferior to men and it was thought that they could not cope in upsetting situations
    • Wealth And Treasure
      • Dr Watson
        • "Whoever had lost a treasure, I knew that night I had gained one" Sees his relationship with Mary as far more important than wealth. The word 'whoever' shows his indifference and lack of concern about the treasure
        • "Worse still, she was rich" - shows his worry about  Mary's inheritance and how it will come between them. He loves her for who she is and doesn't want to seem fortune- seeking
        • " army surgeon with a weak leg and a weaker banking- account" - He is not wealthy and is aware that to many people this would seem a weakness. Perhaps he is concerned that Mary will see it as a weakness too.
      • Sherlock Holmes
        • Does not desire great riches and is content with having enough money to just sustain himself. In many other Sherlock Holmes stories he does not ask for payment.
      • Mary Morstan
        • " 'The treasure is lost,' said Miss Morstan calmly" - She is composed after the treasure is gone, even though her "fortune depends upon the issue"
        • (After Watson says that now the treasure has gone he can tell her that he loves her) " ' Then I say "Thank God" too,' she whispered " - shows how she values Watson much more than the treasure
      • Jonathan Small
        • "The thought o the treasure turned me hard and bitter" - The desire for more and more wealth is enough to make Small take part in murder.
        • "To him it brought murder, to Major Sholto it brought fear and guilt, and to me it has meant slavery for life"- at the end he acknowledges that the treasure, or perhaps the desire for more and more wealth, only brings misfortune and suffering
      • Context
        • At the time wealth was very important, as was class. It was unacceptable for people with vey different levels of wealth to associate with each other
        • As there was no welfare state in the Victorian times people who were very poor lived very miserable lives, in complete poverty, often starving and homeless
        • Arthur Conan Doyle believed that being very greedy for more money and wealth was a bad thing and a common theme in the sherlock homes stores is that wealth is much less important than justice
      • Thaddeus Sholto
        • "I live, as you see, with some little atmosphere of elegance around me" - He has relative wealth and enjoys spending it on making his surroundings luxurious and expensive.
    • Imperialism and Foreignness
      • Sherlock Holmes
        • "Fire if he raises his hand' said Holmes quietly" - Holmes is portrayed as a quiet, refined british gentleman defending against a foreign savage, Tonga
      • Jonathan Small
        • "No man ever had a more faithful mate" - small describes Tonga like he is an animal or a pet, showing how he sees foreign people as intellectually inferior
        • "...exhibiting poor Tonga as the black cannibal" - he sees Tonga as a thing to exploit and make money from
      • Context
        • Britain  had a huge empire and saw it their duty to advance society in 'uncivilised' countries, teaching them good Christian values
        • India was known as the "jewel in the crown" of the Empire. This is reflected in the act that the Agra treasure came from India- the country had many riches, ready to be exploited by the British.
      • Tonga
        • Holmes had already drawn his revolver, and I whipped out mine at the sight of this savage, distorted creature" - Tonga is so foreign and therefore seen as dangerous, that Holmes and Watson are instinctively ready to kill him
      • Thaddeus Sholto
        • "an oasis of art in the howling desert of South London" - there was an interes from many in the aesthetic appeal of 'The East'
        • "Two tiger skins thrown athwart it increased the suggestion of Eastern luxury"
      • The Andaman Islanders
        • " the are a fierce, morose and intractable people"
        • "so intractable and fierce are they that all the efforts of the British officials have failed to win them over"
          • use of the word 'intractable' shows how many victoriand had a huge fear of reverse colonisation
            • " the are a fierce, morose and intractable people"
        • "they are naturally hideous, having large, misshapen heads, small, fierce eyes, and distorted features" - the islanders are completely foreign and opposite to everything civilised and british
    • Emotion And Rationality
      • Dr Watson
        • "A woundrous subtle thing is love"
        • Watson is a romantic and does not understand why Holmes is so cold and emotionless
        • "My conscience swelled nightly... at the thought that I had lacked the courage to protest
        • !A dull, heavy evening... combined to make me feel nervous and depressed
      • Sherlock Holmes
        • Sees emotion and love as unnecessary and "antagonistic" to the scientific method and deduction
        • "But love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things
        • (Watson announces his wedding) "He gave a most dismal groan. ' I feared as much' "
        • "A client is to me, a mere unit, a factor in a problem"
        • "You really are an automaton, a calculating machine"
      • Mary Morstan
        • "Her lip quivered, her hand trembled and she showed every sign of intense inward agitation" - she hides her emotions appropriately for a Victorian woman
        • "In the cab, however, she turned faint and then burst into a passion of weeping"
    • The Scientific Method
      • "Detection is, or ought to be, and exact science"
      • "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, what ever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
      • "He whipped out his lens and a tape measure... measuring comparing, examining"
      • "I never remember being tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely"




wow what an absolutely cracking mindmap u have really outdone yourself here



this mindmap absolutely slaps

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all The Sign Of Four resources »