A study in Scarlet is a well-known novel written in 1887 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes, is a gifted man who solves mysteries in a way that no one else could. By using his skills along with evidence and his new companion, Dr. Watson, Holmes uncovers a mystery of revenge, murder and love. The answers to the enduring questions found in this story from the book club are answered rather strangely but very interestingly.
The book is split into two parts: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John Watson, M.D., Late of the Army Medical Department, part one, and part two is titled The Country of the Saints. In part one, set in England, Dr. Watson when looking for a place to live is introduced to Sherlock Holmes, a strange but extremely intelligent man, who coincidentally needs a companion to live with. After moving in Dr. Watson begins to notice things in Holmes that he didnt quite understand. He experimented with a lot and was very quiet until a crime appeared and Sherlock Holmes was needed by a couple of unimpressive detectives to help figure it out. A murder occurred in both Lauriston Gardens and Hallidays Private Hotel. Sherlock Holmes, through the science of deduction, solved the mysterious murder in only three days.
The enduring questions are found in the second part of the book which is set in America. John and Lucy Ferrier were stranded in the middle of nowhere and rescued by Mormons in Salt Late City Utah. In order to be saved John agreed to live a Mormon lifestyle and to raise his adopted daughter that way as well. Years past and the Ferriers were well-known around the Mormon country as good rich people. Lucy ,who grew up to be a beautiful young woman full of grace and innocence, caught the eyes of many Mormon men, but only man caught her heart. Jefferson Hope was an altogether good man who fell in love with Lucy and had the permission from John to marry her. Now the Mormons were not so pleased with John because being a single man he was not traditionally following the Mormon doctrine. One of the Mormon prophets wanted Lucy to marry a polygamist or else with the life of her father. Not wanting this to happen to his daughter John anxiously awaited the return of Jefferson Hope and although he came back to rescue them the second half of the story ended with two deaths: John and Lucy Ferrier.
What is good and what is bad? Jefferson Hope was a great man who, because of the lost his love, sought and took revenge. He followed the two Mormons from state to state in America and murdered them in England. A sad lonely and depresses man wanted to end the lives of the men who took his. Is this necessarily wrong? Although the Mormons deserved justice was it Hopes place to take care of it? This novel raised a huge question in the discussion the book club had. When is murder okay? As I drove, I could see old John Ferrier and sweet Lucy looking at me out of the darkness and smiling at me, (Doyle 110). Being close to both Lucy and John, Hope felt like he owed it to them to murder the ones who took their life and because he loved Lucy so much he was more than happy to do it. In this story the Mormons appeared to be evil people who wanted those who lived in their land to live according to their doctrinal beliefs and requirements. After helping John and Lucy , the Mormon prophets expected John and Lucy to abide by them and were very disappointed when they saw that that was not going to happen. Was it wrong for them to make Lucy and John obey them? After all, John Ferrier did agree to it? Does that truly make them evil?
Together the book club discovered and answered the previous enduring questions. There were originally four people in the book club, but due to some irresponsibility the discussion was made with only two members of the club: Alisa Romanl and myself. Is there a God and what is he or she like? This is an enduring question that Alisa discovered the answers to in the book: In the end Hope uses the pills to let "god" decide if they should die or not, and since Jefferson dies in the end of the book is that his punishment from God? So the characters kind of see that there is a "god" but he is distant (Alisa). Her thoughts were of huge help to me because they were very different and they helped me to think deeper.
The murders turn out to be "just crimes" does that make those murders okay? Since they were such bad guys in the first place? Also since the crimes being "just" in one person's eyes does that make it just in anothers? (Alisa) After hearing Alisas thoughts on the enduring questions we came with a conclusion that murder is always wrong no matter what but not every murderer is evil. John and Lucy Ferrier were killed because they did not follow the way they agreed they were going to follow. Jefferson Hope because of his love for Lucy and bond with her father John killed the ones who murdered them.
In conclusion, there is good and there is bad, but what is just for you may not be just to another. Because of this there may never be peace. Everyone wants to have peace, but with so many different religious beliefs it is impossible for everyone to agree on what is right and what is wrong. The one thing that seems to hold it all together is love. Although it was love that lead Jefferson to kill the other two murderers, it is the only thing that every single person in this world has in some way or another. Whether it is love of money, power, justice, or a significant other when it is lost it can result into death.
Doyle, A. Conan. A Study In Scarlet. New York: Ballantine Books, 1975.