The similarity between the work of the fictional detective and that of the psychiatrist has often been remarked. Both Marcus (1984) and Shepherd (1985) have compared the technique of the archetypal sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, with that of Sigmund Freud. The sage of Baker Street attempted to solve criminal cases by finding links between items in the external world, such as footprints, bloodstains or broken locks, while Freud tried to make sense of the mysteries of the mind by making connections between events in the inner world, such as dreams, thoughts and desires. Both attempted to provide an all-encompassing explanation of seemingly disparate phenomena. Over the years, the literary descendants of Holmes have become increasingly similar to psychiatrists, because, as well as attending to the external events, they also take account of the individual psychology of the criminal and the social context of the crime.
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