The Case of Lady Sannox

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“The Case of Lady Sannox” Would you ever consider lying to the person you love? The one person you trust and care about most in the world? In the last few years, divorce rates have risen dramatically. Many of these divorces are the effects of secrets, lies, and the rise of temptation in our modern world. The relationship between Lady and Lord Sannox in the short story “The Case of Lady Sannox,” by Arthur Conan Doyle, is an example of a marriage destroyed by deceit and lies. In Doyle’s story, each character portrays deceitful qualities while Lord Sannox takes his revenge upon the arrogant Doctor Stone and Lord Sannox’s unfaithful wife. The lives of the characters in this story are controlled by many of the qualities that cause marriages to fail such as revenge, arrogance, and deceit. Revenge is the desire to repay injury for injury, which is exactly what Lord Sannox does. His heart is brutally broken by his promiscuous wife who is having affairs with several men, including a man named Doctor Douglas Stone. So, in order to pay her back for the pain she causes him, he derives a plan. One night, he disguises himself and begs for the Doctor’s help, claiming his situation is urgent. After some explaining and a very persuasive bribe, Doctor Stone agrees to check on the man’s wife (who supposedly has a poisonous infection) and see what he can do. Lord Sannos then brings him to his house to perform an operation he convinces the doctor is necessary for her to live. Although this scheme is gruesome and horrifying, Lord Sannox finds great satisfaction in watching his wife, Lady Sannox, have her lip be surgically removed by the oblivious Dr. Stone, using no anesthetic or pain reliever. As a result, Lord Sannox obtains his revenge on not only his wife, but also her arrogant lover. To be arrogant or proud means to exaggerate one’s importance in an overbearing manner. Doctor Douglas Stone’s character portrays this quality by neither caring if people find out about the affair nor trying to keep it a secret. He is well known for his work, so he does not feel it is a problem if there are rumors about him and the married Lady Sannox. Because he is such a successful doctor, he is very proud, which is the only reason he decides to take the job offered by Lord Sannox. He is not performing the surgery because the patient desperately needs it, but because he worries what others will think of him if he turns down the man and his wife, and if they hire someone else. Although proud, arrogant, and selfish, Dr. Stone’s character is not nearly as cruel and deceitful as that of Lord Sannox’s wife. Deceit is the distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading. Lady Sannox’s character is the first to act untruthful; however, all three characters are deceitful in the story. By being unfaithful to her husband, Lady Sannox is lying to him and breaking his heart which soon causes him to lose his mind. The pain Lord Sannox feels because of the betrayal causes him to crave revenge and grow to be completely mad. Doctor Stone is deceitful by having an affair with a woman he knows is married, and for acting self-righteous and pompous about it. The crazy Lord Sannox lies and convinces Doctor Stone to perform a gruesome operation on his lover, making him deceitful as well. So, although they are all deceitful at one point, they each express this quality in their own ways. In the short story, “The Case of Lady Sannox,” Lord Sannox takes drastic measures to capture his revenge on the well-known, arrogant Doctor Douglas Stone and Lord Sannox’s deceitful wife, Lady Sannox. He obtains his revenge by convincing the doctor to remove his wife’s lower lip because he claims she has a poisonous infection, when all he really wants is to repay his wife for the pain she causes him. He also disguises himself with a beard and hat and tells Doctor Stone anesthetic is against their religion to cause his wife to feel as much pain as he feels. The way Doctor Stone acts about the affair makes his character seem arrogant, with his nonchalant attitude. Lady Sannox has affairs with other men although she has a loyal yet oblivious husband at home, making her a deceitful liar. So by choosing to betray and lie to her husband, Lady Sannox not only risks her marriage, but also her life.

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The Case of Lady Sannox. (2017, Sep 17). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from

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