Fingerprints

Olivia Knudsen
The primary author is the individual who drafted the first version of this section; a section that could have been modified since it was originally published.

Every person has something extraordinary that sets them aside from anyone else; their fingerprints. No two fingerprints are alike and no one else will ever have the exact same fingerprint as your own which make them reliable for personal identification. Often, law enforcement agencies use fingerprints to identify suspects of crimes, victims of a tragedy, and prisoner's identification.

The first detective to use a fingerprint when trying to figure out a suspect of a crime was Sherlock Holmes. He "was quick to realize the value of fingerprint evidence" (Six Methods of Detection in Sherlock Holmes). Now it may seem strange that a fictional character "could shape the way that modern forensics are handled to this day" but the author of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, made Holmes "a true pioneer in a new paradigm of criminology" (Andrews) .

On page 107 of Unflattening, Nick Sousanis reflects on the importance of fingerprints. When evaluating this novel, one will notice there is no accurate meaning of the message within Unflattening because each individual reader will have their own interpretation of the novel's message. With this being said, my personal interpretation of page 107 is that even though people in life may follow set social norms, one can break free from the norms because everyone is an independent person.

I believe Nick Sousanis used the symbol of a fingerprint upon this page because no one has the same exact fingerprint within the world; this symbols individuality. Society may have social norms, but if one is always following the norms and not expressing who they truly are then they have fallen within to the system. The system wants each person to live a certain way of life because they are afraid of rebellious acts if individuality is publicized.

For Further Reading





Sherlock Holmes investigating fingerprint in "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder." Drawn by Sidney Paget and published in The Strand Magazine, November 1903, p. 492.