Elementary

December 17th, 2011

Cover Letter

Posted by sasha in Uncategorized

Dear Reader,

This is an analysis of, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” a Sherlock Holmes short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This website represents a semester’s worth of work for English 170w, Introduction to Literary Study.
“A Scandal in Bohemia” is a unique Sherlock Holmes story where the famous detective breaks out of his machine-like and focused temperament for a moment, and manages to be defeated by Irene Adler. Not only has Holmes never been bested by an enemy, this is the first time a woman has been an equal to Holmes. There’s a lot to analyze in this story, and there are a lot of different ways to do it. I added a few pages to the website to describe more about the setting of the story and the context. The story takes place in England during the Victorian Era, and a country called Bohemia is mentioned a few times. In terms of revision of the site, I tried to connect previous assignments to the story. I tried to analyze the story in different ways, and the results can be found in the different pages.
I’ve faced different challenges while working on this website, as well as discovering strengths. While revising the website, I’ve covered the learning objective, “develop and use strategies for improving writing and critical thinking through recursive practice, self-reflection, and the process of revision.” I think this learning objective covers aspects that I’ve had difficulty with and did well with. I’ve had the most difficulty with the learning objective, “effectively using web-based technologies,” but handled revision well. When it comes to revising using web-based technology, it combines something I’m good at, and not so good at. I’ve worked a lot on using technology, since I’m not very tech-savvy. There are lots of things I need to work on to fully understand the Digital Humanities, but I think I’ve made some important steps.
A website presents information about a short story in a different way than a final paper can. A website can really encompass different things. I had several different ways of interpreting stories here – I had a Wordle interpreting the story under Digital Humanities, and a Powerpoint interpreting the story in a Freudian way. Each of the assignments shows a different way of seeing the story, while in a final paper, it’s only realistic to include maybe two types of interpretation before tying it all together. I have images, graphs and a presentation. A website is much more visual than a final paper, but it’s also been a huge amount of work.
A hope this website gives a few different views on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” as well as shows the amount of work and revision I’ve put into my English 170W class. I’ve learned so much about literary theories. From the writing I’ve done in this class, I’ve taken away better critical thinking skills that I will definitely apply to future classes in the English Major, and even anything else I read.
I hope my website clearly shows the steps I took- the steps anyone can take – to analyze any work of literature. I hope the theories are clear and simple, and that the site is easy to navigate. As Sherlock Holmes says, I hope it’s all, “elementary.” : )

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  1.    Kevin L. Ferguson said,

    on December 22nd, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Great website! I didn’t realize what made this story unique; there are other literary theories we didn’t cover (like some versions of feminist theory) that might also be usefully applied to this story. I like that you dedicate a page to Irene Adler, and discuss how her characterization plays with our traditional expectations of the detective story: is she the villain or a hero-of-sorts? I think that connects to your problem with New Criticism (and the one Stanley Fish raised)–trying to make a text come to an interpretation you want it to.

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