For this Holmes story, I thought I would look at Dr. Watson’s behavior and mental state (as we discussed in class). I decided on noting specific thoughts of mine and moments in the story as I read it.
(Since I read the story on my kindle, I don’t really have page numbers, but instead percentages.)
45% through the story: We are finally alone with Dr. Watson. Up until this point he has only acted as a narrator, repeating back what he has seen, but not sharing his own personal thoughts. This makes it difficult to get a read on him. All I could say before now is that he is a bit of a pushover. He does exactly what Holmes asks. Other than that, not much to report. However, we are now in Baskervilles and he is alone. So far he is suspicious of the neighbors, as we see when Stapleton says, “You are perfectly right to be wary and discreet.” But is he suspicious because of his own mental issues or because there is a murderer running around? Probably the murderer.
We do see Dr. Watson starting to feel down and dark at this point. In his first letter that he transcribes, he writes about the gloominess surrounding him.
73%: Watson has gone off to examine the hut that the boy dropped food off at. He stays and waits, gun in hand. This is either brave and courageous or impulsive and stupid. It depends on how you look at it. Fortunately for him, it turns out to be the hiding spot of Holmes. Had it been the killer, Watson could have found himself in serious danger.
74%: Watson is upset that Holmes deceived him. But he instantly forgets his anger when Holmes compliments him. I knew a lot of girls/guys in high school who did the same thing when their significant other was in the wrong.
100%: The case is solved and Holmes and Watson are back at home. Watson doesn’t appear to be neurodiverse. He does seem to be a Holmes fanboy. He also seems to be one of those people who forgives and forgets too easily (as seen at 74%). But really, throughout this story, he seems like a normal guy.
The more I looked into him the more normal he seems. Fan sites even consider him an intelligent ladies man. It seems that the damaged, depressed Watson is seen in movies and shows, but not in the originals stories (or at least not in this one).
One odd thing about him though, was that him and Holmes work to catch killers, yet he didn’t report the convict brother. He even seemed to pity the man, which is insane because the guy was a killer. Odd.