Many people choose friends because they have common interests and they enjoy each other’s company. Friends benefit from each other. They depend on each other’s strengths and they are often willing to overlook any existing differences. The commonly understood idea of friendship makes it difficult for readers to understand the existing friendship between Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson. The kind of friendship that exists between the two friends is at most peculiar. It is one sided in nature because one seems to give more than he gets. The two friends are different in many respects yet it is clear that the differences between them make their relationship deeper and more meaningful.
Holmes might be the hero in the story and one of the most intelligent people but this does not mean that he understands everything there is to human relationships and friendships. He is mostly presented as an insensitive and egotistical person especially in the way he treats Watson. Holmes does not have any other friends other than Watson. However, this does not seem to bother him. In fact, he does not even do anything to strengthen the friendship. Watson has a different personality. He pleasures in the adventures of Holmes and he is more sensitive towards people’s feelings. He has a genuine interest in his friend and he enjoys spending time with him. Watson is often amazed at Holmes’ observation and intelligence and he does not hide this fact.
The unique and complicated nature of the friendship between Holmes and Watson is visible in the way the two treat each other. Watson is happy when Holmes praises him and acknowledges his efforts. Yet he seems ignorant or immune to his sarcasm. It is clear that Watson admires his friend and he is loyal to him. However, Holmes does not reciprocate this. He does not seem to be appreciative of Watson as a friend and neither does he trust him. This does not mean that Holmes does not recognize Watson’s value. Holmes tells Sir Henry that Watson is the best man to have at someone’s side when he is in a tight place. This shows that Holmes values Watson even though he might lack an emotional attachment.
Holmes depends on Watson’s admiration to boost his ego. He admits to Watson that he often makes better decisions by observing his poorer observations. In the novel, Holmes hide himself from Watson and this gives him a chance to collect more evidence concerning the case. Although his actions might be interpreted to mean that he does not trust Watson, it could also be possible that Holmes wants Watson to admire him more. Being alone gives Holmes a chance to conduct independent investigations. He knows that Watson will be impressed by his findings and his analysis of the matter. Therefore, it is clear that Holmes depends on Watson to boost his ego. On the other hand, Watson benefits from the excitement of participating in the cases. He enjoys observing how Holmes solves cases. This makes his life more interesting.
Watson and Holmes have an interesting relationship. Their idea of friendship is not confined to the traditional understanding. It is clear that the two friends depend on each other in different ways. Apart from Watson, Holmes does not have any other friends. He values the companionship that Watson offers. Watson also depends on Holmes. He gets a lot of pleasure from participating in the adventures when solving clues. He admires his friend’s intelligence and observation skills.
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