The 2023 R. Joel Senter Sr. Memorial Essay Contest 10th - 12th Grade Form
Students are encouraged to choose from “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton,” or “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot.”
Choose ONE story and indicate which question you are answering.
Write a 750 to 1,000 word essay to answer one of the following questions.
NOTE: Previous 1st Place winners in this Category are not eligible to compete again.
Please see the Rules Tab for complete contest rules.
In "A Scandal in Bohemia," Holmes and Watson believe it is okay to break the law if "the cause is excellent." They also break the law in “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.” In “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot,” Sherlock Holmes persuades Dr. Watson to participate in a daring experiment, which endangers their lives. Choose one of the stories and explain how Holmes and Watson either break the law or endanger their own lives, and whether “the cause is excellent” for the actions they take.
In each of the two stories, "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "Charles Augustus Milverton," Sherlock Holmes uses a disguise to assist in gaining information from a woman to help in solving the case. Is this action unfair to the woman or is the circumstance (stopping a blackmailer) sufficient to allow such a performance? Does the position or class in society of each woman make a different in whether Holmes' actions if right or wrong?
In the stories "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" and "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot," Sherlock Holmes allows the perpetrator of the crime to ultimately escape justice. Should a private citizen be able to make such a decision, and are there sufficient extenuating circumstances for his decision? What are the moral or ethical issues with allowing prosecution of the crimes to be denied?