- Cullman, Alabama


March 3, 2011

Brilliant Minds: A Comparison of Dr. Gregory House and Sherlock Holmes

CULLMAN — Sam Barnes

Cullman High School

Brilliant Minds: A Comparison of Dr. Gregory House and Sherlock Holmes

Dr. Gregory House is a fictional character in the television show House. This show follows Dr. House’s unusual ways of solving medical cases and is set in modern times. Sherlock Holmes, a consulting detective, is a character created by Sir Author Conan Doyle, who tells the story of Holmes solving crimes in London during the late 1800’s. Although Dr. House and Holmes appear to have nothing in common, a closer look reveals that the two eccentric men are similar in their intelligence, relationships with others, and working habits. Both men, although seemingly different, are alike because of the characteristics they exhibit due to their brilliant minds.   

Although House uses his intelligence for medical reasons and Holmes uses his for detective reasons, the two share the goal of helping others in need. Both men are apparently smarter than their colleagues, and most of the time they let their colleagues know it. House’s and Holmes’s minds work in the same pattern. Minute details can trigger a thought that will end up solving a case, whether medical or legal. It is this attention to detail that ends up saving many people and also putting many others in jail. Moreover, the two men are musically gifted. House plays the guitar and piano, while Holmes plays the violin. Furthermore, and most importantly, both have an uncanny ability to solve diagnostic and detective cases in an unorthodox way. For example, they use information that seems to have no pertinence yet ends up being a key factor in solving the case.  

Because House and Holmes are far smarter than the people who surround them, having a good relationship with other people can be difficult. When not working, both men tend to spend time in solitude pondering their thoughts. Their air of superiority hinders both men most when it comes to a relationship with a woman. Dr. House has an off-and-on-again relationship with his boss, Dr. Lisa Cuddy. Likewise, Holmes has an-off-and-on-again relationship with Irene Adler; she is the only women whom Holmes thought could keep up with his intelligence. Dr. House’s and Holmes’s most apparent similarity is their relationship with their side-kicks, Dr. Wilson and Watson. Dr. Wilson works in the same hospital as House and is his only true friend. Watson is Holmes’s partner and assists Holmes in solving crimes. Dr. House and Holmes are always leaning on these two men for help and expect them to ask questions such as “How did you do that?” and “Why did you do that?”      

Even though Dr. House works in a Harvard hospital and Holmes works on the streets and alleyways of London, the two share many of the same working habits. Both men are considered workaholics; they often work long and odd hours, leaving no time for personal enjoyment. Also, Dr. House and Holmes are attracted to unsolvable cases. Despite the fact that for House these are medical cases and for Holmes these are detective cases, the cases are quite similar.  The two only accept the hardest cases that no one else has been able to solve. Another similarity is the way they disclose information to their partners. Only after a case has been solved will the two men admit how they cracked it. Unfortunately, to distract themselves from their stressful jobs, both men take drugs: House overdoses on Vicodin, and Holmes takes cocaine.

As one can clearly see, Dr. Gregory House and Sherlock Holmes embody certain traits that make them alike. The two men are similar in their intelligence, relationships with others, and working habits. Blessed with brilliant minds, the two characters have had to learn to deal with the advantages and disadvantages of being smarter than those who are around them. House and Holmes have coped in almost the same ways, making them comparable.  


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