The Effects Of Aging On The Well-known Sherlock Holmes

Fear of what aging can do to your body is something that most humans share in common. Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes’ character for his sharp intellect and creativity in story telling, was not known for being afflicted by any physical impairment. Holmes’ brilliance, arrogance and personality were what made him unique. Mitch Cullin’s book “A Slight Trick of the Mind” reveals that even Sherlock Holmes is affected by the signs of aging. Mitch Cullin presents an old Holmes to illustrate the devastating effects that age has on the most important things in your life. Holmes’s entire identity is destroyed by his memory loss, which affects his work, intellect, and relationships.

Cullin’s novel was set in Sussex long after Holmes retired. In this chapter, Holmes’ long-held fascination with beekeeping is explained to the reader. The reader also gets to know Holmes’ caretaker, and her son. Holmes’ retirement story is told as he tries to recall what happened. As Holmes nears the end, he begins to understand the importance of caring for others and loves them. Cullin shows any elderly person through the famous and well-known Sherlock Holmes. Holmes in his prime was known for his “sharp and perceptive” eyes as well as his “hawk-like” nose. (Doyle. vol.1, 11,). Holmes’s striking and sharp features were a reflection of his intelligence. A common description of Holmes was that he had “ignorance…as impressive as his know-how” because he didn’t trust any one else’s judgment (Doyle, vol.1, 12,). Holmes’s work was a fascinating example of Holmes’s ability to think on his feet. His ability to stay one step ahead of others, regardless of the circumstances, gave him an intriguing personality. Sherlock’s intelligence was unsurpassed, making his brain appear almost inhuman compared to other characters.

Holmes describes his intellect and how it compares to a simple-minded person in one of his mysteries. He says that “most people” will give you the results of a sequence of events if they are asked (Andr?,117). This means that they could put together events in their brain and then draw conclusions from the information. Holmes asserts that Holmes is not the only one who can do this. “If someone tells them a result, [they] will be able to develop from their own inner consciousness the steps that led up to that result,” (Andr? 117). Holmes is implying that these people can use analytic reasoning to discover the steps leading to the result. He was proud of his deductive skills, which were superior to any others in the profession.

Cullin begins his story by introducing Sherlock Holmes 93 years old. Despite his age, Holmes’s body was still strong and upright, and his keen gray eyes still held the same sharpness they had when he was younger. He carried two canes with him as he walked. snow-white hair, (was) thick and long, like his beard,” creating a different visual for the readers than what was described in Sherlock’s earlier adventures (Cullin, 3).|Holmes describes himself as “[using] 2 canes, his body [remaining] untouched, [and] that] the passing years hadn’t dimmed [his keen gray eyes] [and (his new) snow-white hair (was) thick, long, like (his beard),” creating a unique visual for readers than the one provided in Sherlock’s earlier adventures. (Cullin 3).|Holmes is described as “[using] only two canes and his body [remaining] intact, [and that] the passing of time hadn’t dimmed him keen gray eyes, [and [his new] snow-white hair (was), thick and long (like his beard),” providing a completely different visual to the reader than what was in Sherlock’s earlier adventures.|Holmes is described as “[using]] two canes; his body [remaining] undamaged and [that] the passage of years hadn’t dimmed his keen grey eyes, [and (his) new snow-white (was) thicket and long, (like his beard),”, creating a different visual experience for readers than that described in Sherlock’s earlier adventures.|Holmes is described using two canes to move his body, while his body remains unbowed. The passage of time has not dimmed Holmes’ keen gray eyes. His new, thick, white hair (was) long and thick, just like his beard,” providing readers with a different visual than what was presented in Sherlock’s earlier adventures.} Holmes’s experience with loss and the regret he feels from it has changed as he gets older. He lost two dear friends a short time apart; “Dr. Watson (was), someone who had passed beyond the kin… and the recent loss to Mrs. Hudson”, which made Watson feel “like a door slamming abruptly closed on everything that has previously shaped his life” (Cullin, 194).

One can see that once arrogant, a man who is now humbler has hoped to stay around for his last years. Cullin illustrates how age can impact one’s desire to be with others and their ability to seek help. Sherlock is aware of his inabilities and how others can help him. He must adjust his personality in order to embrace these changes. These changes are significant but he’s still remembered as Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes, Doyle’s creations of Sherlock Holmes, was always more than the rest.

As we discussed, he relied on his analytical skills and deduction to solve seemingly impossible cases. Holmes is often referred to as a “superhero” by the police because he can take a case to the next level. Holmes’ memory was a unique trait. An author compared Sherlock’s memory abilities to that of a novice in a psychological study. They claim that experts are distinguished from novices because of their long-term memory organization and knowledge. Their example explains that expertise is defined by its “nature and organization” (Andr., 111). This article supports Holmes’ special mind when compared to the others. Sherlock Holmes was created to be detective. Doyle says Holmes’s ability to deduce is similar. Holmes was born to be a detective. Holmes’s career was a way for him to define his personality. His uncontrollable loss of memory caused him to lose touch with this side of himself over time.

Cullin’s novel was a reflection on Sherlock’s scattered memories. He doesn’t ever complete a story before moving on to the next one. This creates an illusion that Sherlock wants to trigger memories about any one of the storylines. Sherlock is depicted with progressive memory impairment in the movie version. He is given the task by his doctor to mark every name or event that he has forgotten during a single day. Later on in the film, viewers notice an increase in the number dots per page. These two examples illustrate how the audience’s memory loss was best shown to them.

Holmes’ final case as an individual detective was a key storyline in the plot. He spends the novel searching for clues that will help him determine why he chose to retire. Mitch Cullin stated in an interview that Sherlock got off the plane in Japan to realize that 40 years ago, he would have picked up on so much detail in his surroundings. Instead, today, he was just enjoying the beauty of Japan (“Sherlock’s”) Holmes’ memory starts to decline and he begins to cry out “I don’t understand” or “I haven’t gotten a hint” to himself in an attempt to find answers. It is evident that his progressive loss and how he reacts to it are both signs of a more serious condition. Although he can do his best, the novel shows that he’s not as sharp as he used to be. He was able to build relationships without any assistance, even though he lost his memory.

Sherlock Holmes was a stubborn detective in his early years. He was intelligently more than most, so it was difficult to relate with others. He loved to make fun of people’s simple comments. He struggled to find a connection in relationships. Sherlock, in “The Sign of Four”, is quoted as saying “love can be an emotional thing” (Doyle: 157). Sherlock here explains why he does not need love. He has enough hard work to do his best. Sherlock and Mycroft share a strong competitive chemistry, even when they are writing stories together. Sherlock is always the best at his job. Sherlock Holmes is only known to approve of a handful of relationships throughout his stories. These are John Watson, Mycroft and Irene Adler, his true love.

Watson and Holmes met as they were searching for a home to call their own. Holmes continued his amazement on Watson every day that followed their meeting. Holmes was in awe of Watson’s intelligence and this gave him an adrenaline rush that allowed him not to stop trying. His brother Mycroft is also his second friend. Homes and Mycroft support each other through the stories, while they are fiercely competitive. They get along well because they can challenge one another mentally unlike others. Holmes’

Irene Adler was Irene’s third friend. In “A Scandal from Bohemia”, it is mentioned that “to Sherlock Holmes was she the woman” [Doyle, vol.1, 244]. He loved her brain and her love story, but they were both too busy with work to maintain their relationship. Sherlock was fortunate to have a few close friends, but he couldn’t build strong relationships beyond those. He realized, however, that it was these close relationships that mattered the most as he grew up.

Holmes’ later years are shown to show him having lost his closest friends Watson and Mycroft. But, the reader is still able see how difficult Sherlock’s struggle to find a relationship. Along with Roger, he has Mrs. Munro, his housekeeper. They are not very good friends. Sherlock can be seen being annoyed at Sherlock’s presence at the beginning and even staring at her to go. Mrs. Munro sees Homes’ aging differently and doesn’t want to deal with it. When he seems unhappy, she does not show compassion but instead tells him that “he’s just in a weird mood… (and only God knows why)” (Cullin.197). Holmes is grateful for Holmes’ presence, despite their bickering.

Though his relationship with Mrs. Munro is rocky, he develops a solid fathering/grandfathering relationship with Roger saying that “he rarely enjoyed the company of children, (but) it was difficult avoiding the parental strings he harbored for Mrs. Munro’s son”(Cullin, 12). Roger is interested in Holmes, and follows him around the garden pathways, as well as other locations, to see if he can deduce like he can. Cullin,197 Sherlock discovers what it means to love and care for another person by meeting him. They shared a mutual interest in beekeeping and an interest in investigation. Sherlock feels a new emotion when Roger gets hurt caring for Holmes’ honeybees. An overwhelming sadness is what he feels because the boy was injured. This was something that he hadn’t felt before. Holmes’s old age allowed him to openly communicate with people he cared about. His eyesight was able to expand with age.

There are only a few significant differences between Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Cullin. As Holmes ages, Holmes experiences changes in his mental and physical state. This affects how he interacts with others and himself. Holmes is stubborn but he has become more open to others as he ages. Holmes realized that he was not better than anyone and needed to be open to receiving help. He learned to forgive himself and to make new connections with people he valued. Cullin’s tale shows Holmes becoming more humane as he grew older. His past experiences were a reference point that he could use to help him change his future.


  • tenleylancaster

    Tenley Lancaster is a 34-year-old educational blogger and student. She enjoys writing about topics related to education, including but not limited to student motivation, learning styles, and effective study techniques. Tenley has also written for various websites and magazines, and is currently working on her first book. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.