What are the themes of “The Valley of Fear” written by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Valley of Fear (Themes)


Deception is a significant theme of the playscript “The Valley of Fear” written by Arthur Conan Doyle. The central and the most prominent deception, of course, is in form of John Douglas, who is actually McMurdo, who is actually Birdy Edwards. Birdy Edwards has to change his identities time and again to escape his worst enemies. Edwards deceives all of the Scowrers as well as Ettie to achieve his targets. Then in England, he deceives Cecil and his own wife, Ivy. Fred Porlock, an informant, apparently works for Moriarty but sends ciphered messages to Holmes. The deception worsens with McMurdo’s faked death, but even then it is not enough to fool Moriarty or Holmes. Deception is used for both good and evil purposes. 
                          Doyle indicates that deception may be helpful but that one has to be very careful not to forget moral values. 


Authority is a significant theme of the playscript “The valley of Fear” written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes owns a great deal of authority through intelligence, ability, and efficiency.  Scowrers, possess authority through more harmful means as they threaten, intimidate, hurt, kill innocent people. They try to establish their control and power using illegal means. Authority within the organization is not established on sound ideas or intellect; rather, it is established and supported by power. Doyle suggests that this sort of authority is not permanent and ever-lasting. Police and law enforcement agencies located in Vermissa Valley also have a great deal of authority but they have surrendered in front of the gangsters.


Power is a significant theme of the playscript “The Valley of Fear” written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Power displays itself in multiple ways in the play script but the author evidently appears to imply that the type of power Sherlock Holmes enjoys is the most beneficial. This “power” is embedded in intelligence, analytical and inferential reasoning, thoughtfulness and consideration, and clarity of reflection and articulation. Holmes solves the case using all of these qualities, restoring Douglas to his wife, and saving him from punishment. Holmes also alerted him to be super cautious as Moriarty was still there to take vengeance.  Doyle explores other layouts of power like law enforcement, which he depicts as useful but limited, and power established in brutality and affliction, which he represents as putatively absolute but eventually condemned to fail.


One of the most significant themes of the novel is observation, which is what readers are prompted to practice along with Holmes and Watson. Doyle sets out the details of the case without mentioning many details in order to provoke his readers to think about what they see and try to form associations. Holmes is extremely wise, but all of the evidence he has is the same evidence that readers establish at the beginning. Doyle teaches his readers to consider every detail no matter how diminutive it is to get to the truth. Holmes has deep observation skills. When starts his investigation, he notices every diminutive detail that proves helpful in solving the case. Thus, Doyle conveys a very powerful message to his readers that being observant is crucial to gaining success in life.

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