Miss Irene Adler's mind does not conform to her body-yet she can become a positive protagonist precisely because of her body."(Cortiel 1999 p.110)

Therefore, it is plain that the Victorian society saw woman as the opposite of reason and intellect. The 'sample' that Holmes gives us of the way in which he thinks women always act is very suggestive:

When a woman thinks that her house is on fire, her instinct is at once to rush to the thing which she values most. It is a perfectly overpowering impulse, and I have more than once taken advantage of it... A married woman grabs at her baby; an unmarried one reaches for her jewel-box. (Doyle 2002 p.78)

Irene's reaction to the false alarm of fire seems to uphold Holmes view, but eventually she tricks him when she realizes her own mistake and discovers his disguise. As she emphasizes in her note...
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