Essay On The Murders In The Rue Morgue

547 Words 3 Pages
Poe’s short story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” places several ideas in juxtaposition with each other in order to make a point. The beginning commentary about several board games and the mental faculties they require, according to narrator, sets the stage for the following murder mystery narrative in the short story. By doing so, Poe is using two seemingly unrelated topics, which could be seen as quite crass in being compared to each other, in order to draw distinctions between several abstract concepts. First off, by interjecting this obscure explanation on games and what they reveal about a person’s intellect and then moving into the explanation of brutal murders, the narrator is desensitizing the audience’s emotional reaction to the …show more content…
The first and main idea he draws our attention to is what it really means to analyze a situation. He then unpacks what it means by looking at the types of analysis that are required in two popular board games, chess and draughts. (Draughts, I learned, is just what Americans call checkers.) The “elaborate frivolity of chess” showcases two characteristics that the narrator obviously looks down upon, which are complexity and calculation without using analysis (Poe 141). The narrator believes that chess is all about calculation, because of its numerous rules and regulations with regards to the pieces and how they move. This calculation does not really require any actual analysis; rather, it only relies on attention. According to the narrator, the person playing chess whose attention may falter for an instant will then commit an oversight, “resulting in injury or defeat” (Poe 141). This is in direct contrast to draughts, which has a certain simplicity, because the pieces can only move in a very limited, and thus “unique” way, according to the narrator (Poe 141). Because there are not as many rules for the player to master, the intellect is relied upon more heavily, and thus, the player can prove he is a master of analysis. In discussing these two comparisons, analysis versus calculation and simplicity versus complexity,

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