Jefferson Hope, the murderer of two victims in Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, is not as safe as Holmes and Watson believe. The characters decide to remove their safety measures from the murderer and let him become comfortable after deciding he is of no threat. However, the assumption that Hope is docile in these scenes is unreasonable. While he is physically weak and incapable of much, his emotional state and actions say otherwise. An example of when Hope displays his potential dangerousness is highlighted when “the prisoner wrenched himself free from Home’s grasp, and hurled himself through the window.” (66-67). He may have not gotten far, but nonetheless his intent is clearly shown. Jefferson Hope, provided he was physically able, would have been a tremendous threat that Holmes and Watson seemed to brush aside when they un-cuffed him and nonchalantly interviewed him. Hope’s abilities and desires are downplayed by Watson and Holmes and therefore show a weakness in the way the team conducts their business.


One comment

  1. While Jefferson Hope did have medical conditions, it would be an overstatement to claim that he was physically weak and incapable of much. Hope can still be seen as a powerful individual as he “wrenched himself free from Home’s grasp, and hurled himself through the window” (66-67). In addition to this, it states that Hope was “so powerful and fierce … that the four of us were shaken off him again and again” when the detective and police attempted to pin him to the ground (67). However, even with all of this strength and power, Hope would not have chosen to intentionally hurt Watson or Holmes as these men had morals. In fact, Hope saw the unfairness of Stagerson and Drebber’s continued existence as they directly played a role in shortening his life as well as John and Lucy Ferrier’s lives. Therefore, it would make no sense for Hope to hurt those whom enforced the laws as he would not have murdered them had the law been applied in Utah.

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