Edgar Allan Poe And The Purloined Letter Essay

818 Words Oct 18th, 2015 4 Pages
While Edgar Allan Poe is known primarily for his horror stories and gothic poems, he is also generally credited for the creation of modern detective fiction. In the three short stories featuring the Frenchman, C. Auguste Dupin, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” and “The Purloined Letter,” Poe’s creative story components were innovative and added entirely new elements to fiction writing. Many of the story features that he devised are now widely used in other well-known fictional detective tales, says critic E.F. Bleiter, “Poe not only improved on such elements as he borrowed, but with his remarkable structural sense worked out a viable form that served as a model for thousands of successors.” His Dupin stories share three of the elements that Poe introduced: the unconventional armchair detective, the narrator foil who is somewhat less intelligent than the detective, and a puzzle which stumps the constabulary and then is solved using the process of inductive reasoning by the mastermind detective. These procedural mechanisms, along with other techniques Poe originated, develop what Bleiler calls “the magnitude of Poe 's achievement” and provide the detective genre its distinctive formula.
The first element common to the Dupin stories is the character of the eccentric investigator who uses his mental abilities alone to solve crimes. According to Dawn Sova, a Poe biographer, “he is credited with inventing the modern detective story with an…

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