The Red-Headed League Essay

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In the following essay, Atkinson discusses "The Red-Headed League" as a supreme example of the nature of plot, in which a "sequence of events" becomes "a structure of revelation."

Most Sherlock Holmes stories begin with someone coming to visit the famous detective. The master sleuth listens judiciously as the hapless visitor spells out the details of his story, a confusing sequence of events uninformed by a clear meaning, a chain of mysterious occurrences of which the visitor feels himself somehow to be the victim, and thus now turns to the renowned intellect in the hope he can illuminate the puzzle—in short, the kind of encounter familiar to any English teacher who has ever held office hours the day before a major essay came due.

But this moment in which a relationship between fact and meaning, event and pattern, occurrence and revelation is about to be created...

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This section contains 2,418 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Red-Headed League Study Guide
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The Red-Headed League from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.