Gender and Genre in 21st Century Visions of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most-adapted characters in literature since his first appearance in A Study in Scarlet in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887. Each new adaptation must offer innovations that bring freshness and contemporary appeal to time-worn stories and concepts or risk irrelevancy; analyzing these changes closely sheds light on shifts in societal constructs. Taking this as a starting point, this thesis examines Sherlock and Elementary from a perspective of feminism and queer theory via methods of discourse and genre analyses, with texts ranging from 1931 to the present as objects of comparison. The research illuminates constructions of masculinity as they have changed over time, particularly the movement from an orderly, stable, rational construction of hegemonic masculinity to one that is chaotic, often violent, and anti-heroic in at least some aspects while still being invested in the status quo.