Sam Spade vs Sherlock Holmes: Commonalities

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A Myriad of Commonalities Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes are alike in many respects. Though they have obvious differences, their similarities are more notable. Spade and Holmes are both fictional characters, detectives by trade, and they use the same basic principles when solving crimes. Their styles are different, but equally effective. Both get the job done in a thrilling and suspenseful manner that keeps the reader wanting more.

Holmes and Spade had a myriad of common traits. Neither slept very much. Holmes' lack of sleep could have been attributed to his cocaine use, and also to his constant reasoning and thinking. The latter reason would be true for Spade as well. They both used similar means to solve mysteries. Logic, evaluating evidence, and not relying on deathbed confessions, or confessions of any kind for that matter were employed by the two detectives. Also seen in Holmes and Spade is the ability to act above the law in order to preserve justice.

Spade was far more concerned with right and wrong than the way of the law and followed a clearly defined moral code, even if the police disagreed. The only time that either detective worked with the local authorities was when it came time to apprehend the criminal.

Both Spade and Holmes fought their crimes in dangerous areas. The London fog in which Holmes lives is as dark and dangerous as the mean San Francisco streets Sam Spade wandered. Organized crime was a powerful force in both places. Violence was common, corruption was everywhere, and people were frequently aggressive for no apparent reason. Holmes and Spade certainly lived in equally precarious cities. Due to their similar surroundings, these two detectives paralleled in the type of cases they investigated; these cases often involving deaths, dishonesty, and the darker side of human...