February 27, 2014
Saussure's Theory and “The Case of Identity”
After reading Saussure’s theory Nature of the Linguistic Sign, the readers will gain information about how to use the idea of signs, especially, the idea of the signified and the signifier and relate them to other things to get the picture on their minds. To demonstrate this idea, let us use “The Case of Identity,” by Arthur Conan Doyle. In his theory, Saussure says that every signified, the image of a tree for example, has a signifier which is the actual word tree which means that what we see in reality we assigned to something in our minds to understand well. In “Case of Identity,” Holmes depends in a similar method to solve the case. When Holmes sees that Miss Sutherland has some kind of signs and marks on her hands, he knows that she is a type writer. Also, he use the same method when he says that she was in harry to get out from home because she wears different pairs of shoes. Holmes uses the marks on her hands and the odd shoes as a signifiers to explain the signified which is that she is a type writer and she was in harry. Understanding Saussure’s theory of signs can help us understand “The Case of Identity.” Holmes’ intelligence and great ability of associating things to create the full picture is the same process we use when learning language. We associate words to pictures to memorize them and understand them.