‘Why do you hesitate?’
‘There is a realm in which the most acute and most experienced of detectives is helpless.’
‘You mean that the thing is supernatural?’
‘I did not positively say so.’
‘No, but you evidently think it.’
‘Since the tragedy, Mr Holmes, there have come to my ears several incidents which are hard to reconcile with the settled order of Nature.’ (Doyle 24)
I found this paragraph interesting because it seems to suggest one of the significant issues of the novel-the tension between form and matter. At first sight, it feels strange to discover the most supernatural kind of narrative-myth that is passed down along certain lineage-from the most reasonable kind of narrative, detective novel. However, it can provide the readers with interesting hypothesis that even in the time of rationality, certain superstitions were still needed to calm people’s anxiety about fast changing society and its instability. No matter how social/economic progress has positive impact on the crowd, as long as progress itself is a form of change, instability is inevitable in the process. So there existed some temporal gap between people’s spiritual life and the real life.
I also contend that the text may bear some other implications depending on one component that finally beats the other. Although the two contrasting components leads readers to go along the plot of same mystery, for the story to come to its end only one component survive to culminate the novel. As detective novel is a product benefiting from the modernity itself, I would make a guess that the novel will finally end in supporting science and reasoning, the values that Sherlock Holmes symbolizes through his whole character.