Загрузил Ahmad Umarov

Edgar Allan Poe's convertions for a detective story

Реклама
THE MINISTRY OF HIGHER AND SECONDARY SPECIAL EDUCATION
OF UZBEKISTAN NAVOIY STATE PEDAGOGICAL INSTITUTE
THE FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
Course paper
THEME:EDGAR ALLAN POE’S CONVERTIONS FOR A DETECTIVE
STORY.
RESERCHER:__________________NILUFAR HALIMOVA.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR:_______________BURXANOVA M.G.
The work is defended on”___”__________(date)
And is assessed at “___”points
NAVOIY-2022
~1~
Content
Introduction……………………………………………………………3
Chapter I. The General overview of the American Literature of the first half of
the XIX century.
I.1American
Revolution
and
its
influence
upon
the
literature……………………………………………………………….. 4
I.2 Outstanding authors of the first half of the XIX century………..6
Chapter II. Edgar Allan Poe as the creator of detective stories
II.1 The definition of the “detective story”…………………………....10
II.2 Poe as the Father of Detective Fiction……………………………12
Chapter.III The most famous detective stories of the author
III.1 “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”……………………………..15
III.2 "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt"…………………………………19
III.3 “The Purloined Letter”…………………………………………..21
Conclusion……………………………………………………………....24
References…………………………………………………………….....26
~2~
American
Introduction
Edgar Allan Poe’s importance as a detective writer may be seen in his
pioneering contributions to the genre, in the rich variety, meaning, and
significance of his stories, and in their influence on writers the world over. And
Poe’s character C. Auguste Dupin, a private detective, became the model for
many later fictional detectives.
Relevance of the study. The great
contribution made by Edgar Allan Poe in the formation of American literature
can not be overemphasized. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the first American
detective writers, whose influence is be traced in American literature and
European in modern times. His stories are read by children, probed with the
tools of psychoanalysis by critics, and transformed into films. Therefore, his
creative activity is worth of paying attention to and the given theme is actual for
investigation.
stories.
The objects of study are Edgar Allan Poe’s detective
Subject of research - characteristic features and artistic peculiarities
of Poe’s detectives.
The aim of work. To analyze Edgar Allan Poe’s
detective stories; to investigate and to show their characteristic features artistic
peculiarities.
Research
objectives.
1.
To
investigate
American
Literature of the first half of the XIX century and to allocate main authors of
that time.
fiction.
2. To consider Edgar Allan Poe as the creator of the detective
3. To analyze Edgar Allan Poe’s detective stories as the prototype
for many future fictional detectives.
The hypothesis of the study. Edgar
Allan Poe deserves to be named “the father of the detective story”. He created
so much that is of importance in the field – literally creating the template for all
of detective fiction to follow. 1
1
Ackroyd, Peter. Poe, A Life Cut Short. Baltimore: Fishman Books, 1998
~3~
Chapter 1. The General overview of the American Literature of the first half of
the XIX century.
I.1 American Revolution and its influence upon the American literature
The hard-fought American Revolution against Britain (1775-1783) was the first
modern war of liberation against a colonial power. The triumph of American
independence seemed to many at the time a divine sign that America and her
people were destined for greatness. Military victory fanned nationalistic hopes
for a great new literature. Yet with the exception of outstanding political
writing,
few
Revolution.
works
of
note
appeared
during
or
soon
after
the
American books were harshly reviewed in England. Americans
were painfully aware of their excessive dependence on English literary models.
The search for a native literature became a national obsession. As one American
magazine editor wrote, around 1816, "Dependence is a state of degradation
fraught with disgrace, and to be dependent on a foreign mind for what we can
ourselves produce is to add to the crime of indolence the weakness of
stupidity".
Cultural revolutions, unlike military revolutions, cannot be
successfully imposed but must grow from the soil of shared experience.
Revolutions are expressions of the heart of the people; they grow gradually out
of new sensibilities and wealth of experience. It would take 50 years of
accumulated history for America to earn its cultural independence and to
produce the first great generation of American writers: Washington Irving,
James Fennimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar
Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and others. America's literary independence was
slowed by a lingering identification with England, an excessive imitation of
English or classical literary models, and difficult economic and political
conditions that hampered publishing.
~4~
Revolutionary writers, despite their genuine patriotism, were of necessity
self-conscious, and they could never find roots in their American sensibilities.
Colonial writers of the revolutionary generation had been born English, had
grown to maturity as English citizens, and had cultivated English modes of
thought and English fashions in dress and behavior. Their parents and
grandparents were English (or European), as were all their friends. Added to
this, American awareness of literary fashion still lagged behind the English, and
this time lag intensified American imitation.
As if in response, four
American authors of very respectable stature appeared: William Cullen Bryant,
Washington Irving, James Fennimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe. They wrote in
many prose genres, initiated new forms, and found new ways to make a living
through literature. With them, American literature began to be read and
appreciated in the United States and abroad. 2
2
Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. 1992, - p. 298
~5~
I.2 Outstanding authors of the first half of the XIX century
After the American Revolution, and increasingly after the War of 1812,
American writers were exhorted to produce a literature that was truly native.
William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, James Fennimore Cooper, and
Edgar Allan Poe initiated a great half century of literary development. Irving,
often considered the first writer to develop a unique American style [citation
needed] (although this has been debated) wrote humorous works in Salmagundi
and the well-known satire A History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker
(1809). Bryant wrote early romantic and nature-inspired poetry, which evolved
away from their European origins. In 1832, Poe began writing short stories –
including "The Masque of the Red Death", "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The
Fall of the House of Usher", and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" – that
explore previously hidden levels of human psychology and push the boundaries
of fiction toward mystery and fantasy. Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales about
Natty Bumppo (which includes The Last of the Mohicans) were popular both in
the new country and abroad.
Bryant, a New Englander by birth, attracted
attention in his 23rd year when the first version of his poem "Thanatopsis"
(1817) appeared. This, as well as some later poems, was written under the
influence of English 18th-century poets. Still later, however, under the influence
of Wordsworth and other Romantics, he wrote nature lyrics that vividly
represented the New England scene. Turning to journalism, he had a long career
as a fighting liberal editor of The Evening Post. He himself was overshadowed,
in
renown
Irving.
at
least,
by
a
native-born
New
Yorker,
Washington
Irving, youngest member of a prosperous merchant family, joined
with ebullient young men of the town in producing the Salmagundi papers
(1807-08), which took off the foibles of Manhattan's citizenry. This was
followed by A History of New York (1809), by "Diedrich Knickerbocker", a
burlesque history that mocked pedantic scholarship and sniped at the Old Dutch
~6~
families. Irving's models in these works were obviously Neoclassical English
satirists, from whom he had learned to write in a polished, bright style. Later,
having met Sir Walter Scott and having become acquainted with imaginative
German literature, he introduced a new Romantic note in The Sketch Book
(1819-20), Bracebridge Hall (1822), and other works. He was the first American
writer to win the ungrudging (if somewhat surprised) respect of British
critics.
No writer was as successful as Irving at humanizing the land,
endowing it with a name and a face and a set of legends. The story of "Rip Van
Winkle", who slept for 20 years, waking to find the colonies had become
independent, eventually became folklore. It was adapted for the stage, went into
the oral tradition, and was gradually accepted as authentic American legend by
generations of Americans.
Irving discovered and helped satisfy the raw new
nation's sense of history. His numerous works may be seen as his devoted
attempts to build the new nation's soul by recreating history and giving it living,
breathing, imaginative life. For subjects, he chose the most dramatic aspects of
American history: the discovery of the New World, the first president and
national hero, and the westward exploration. His earliest work was a sparkling,
satirical History of New York (1809) under the Dutch, ostensibly written by
Diedrich Knickerbocker (hence the name of Irving's friends and New York
writers of the day, the "Knickerbocker School").
James Fennimore
Cooper won even wider fame. Following the pattern of Sir Walter Scott's
"Waverley" novels, he did his best work in the "Leatherstocking tales" (182341), a five-volume series celebrating the career of a great frontiersman named
Natty Bumppo. His skill in weaving history into inventive plots and in
characterizing his compatriots brought him acclaim not only in America and
England but on the continent of Europe as well.
James Fenimore Cooper,
like Irving, evoked a sense of the past and gave it a local habitation and a name.
In Cooper, though, one finds the powerful myth of a golden age and the
poignance of its loss. While Irving and other American writers before and after
~7~
him scoured Europe in search of its legends, castles, and great themes, Cooper
grasped the essential myth of America: that it was timeless, like the wilderness.
American history was a trespass on the eternal; European history in America
was a reenactment of the fall in the Garden of Eden. The cyclical realm of
nature was glimpsed only in the act of destroying it: The wilderness disappeared
in front of American eyes, vanishing before the oncoming pioneers like a
mirage. This is Cooper's basic tragic vision of the ironic destruction of the
wilderness, the new Eden that had attracted the colonists in the first
place.
Cooper accepted the American condition while Irving did not. Irving
addressed the American setting as a European might have -- by importing and
adapting European legends, culture, and history. Cooper took the process a step
farther. He created American settings and new, distinctively American
characters and themes. He was the first to sound the recurring tragic note in
American fiction.
Edgar Allan Poe, reared in the South, lived and worked as
an author and editor in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Richmond, and New York City.
His work was shaped largely by analytical skill that showed clearly in his role
as an editor: time after time he gauged the taste of readers so accurately that
circulation figures of magazines under his direction soared impressively. It
showed itself in his critical essays, wherein he lucidly explained and logically
applied his criteria. His gothic tales of terror were written in accordance with his
findings when he studied the most popular magazines of the day.
His
masterpieces of terror: "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), "The Masque
of the Red Death" (1842), "The Cask of Amontillado" (1846), and others – were
written according to a carefully worked out psychological method. So were his
detective stories, such as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), which
historians credited as the first of the genre. As a poet, he achieved fame with
"The Raven" (1845). His work, especially his critical writings and carefully
crafted poems, had perhaps a greater influence in France, where they were
translated by Charles Baudelaire, than in his own country.
~8~
Poe believed that
3
strangeness was an essential ingredient of beauty, and his writing is often
exotic. His stories and poems are populated with doomed, introspective
aristocrats (Poe, like many other southerners, cherished an aristocratic ideal).
These gloomy characters never seem to work or socialize; instead they bury
themselves in dark, moldering castles symbolically decorated with bizarre rugs
and draperies that hide the real world of sun, windows, walls, and floors. The
hidden rooms reveal ancient libraries, strange art works, and eclectic oriental
objects. The aristocrats play musical instruments or read ancient books while
they brood on tragedies, often the deaths of loved ones. Themes of death-in-life,
especially being buried alive or returning like a vampire from the grave, appear
in many of his works, including "The Premature Burial," "Ligeia," "The Cask of
Amontillado," and "The Fall of the House of Usher." Poe's twilight realm
between life and death and his gaudy, Gothic settings are not merely decorative.
They reflect the overcivilized yet deathly interior of his characters disturbed
psyches. They are symbolic expressions of the unconscious, and thus are central
to
3
his
Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. 1992, - p. 298
~9~
art.
Chapter 2. Edgar Allan Poe as the creator of detective stories
II.1 The definition of the “detective story”
Detective story – is a type of mystery story that features a private detective or a
police officer as the prime solver of a crime — usually a murder case. The
detective is the main protagonist, through whom the story is told either as a
first-person narrator or in the third person as portrayed by the author. The
detective interrogates the suspects, ferrets out the clues, and tracks down the
murderer. To play fair, the detective shares all the clues with the reader but
withholds their significance until the end.
The thrust of the detective’s
investigation is based on motive, opportunity, and means, and he or she arrives
at the solution by eliminating those suspects who do not fulfill these criteria. To
make the case difficult for the detective and interesting to the reader, the author
puts complications in the detective’s way: several suspects, additional murders,
red herrings, and, often, threats of violence. Only at the end does the detective
unmask the culprit, explain the plot, and present the deductive reasoning that he
used in solving the case.
The detective story, often called a whodunit, did not
spring into being in this form. Rather, it evolved, early in the 20th century, from
stories about detectives in which the reader was not a participant, but a witness,
so to speak, looking over the detective’s shoulder.
of the detective story are:
The traditional elements
(1) the seemingly perfect crime;
accused suspect at whom circumstantial evidence points;
dim-witted police;
of the detective;
(2) the wrongly
(3) the bungling of
(4) the greater powers of observation and superior mind
(5) the startling and unexpected denouement, in which the
detective reveals how the identity of the culprit was ascertained.
Detective
story frequently operate on the principle that superficially convincing evidence
is ultimately irrelevant. Usually it is also axiomatic that the clues from which a
logical solution to the problem can be reached be fairly presented to the reader
at exactly the same time that the sleuth receives them and that the sleuth deduce
~ 10 ~
the solution to the puzzle from a logical interpretation of these clues.
The
first detective story was “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe,
published in April 1841. Poe's fictional French detective, C. Auguste Dupin,
appeared in two other stories, “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1845) and “The
Purloined Letter” (1845). The detective story soon expanded to novel length.4
4
Encyclopedia of southern culture. University of North Carolina Press. 1989.
~ 11 ~
II.2 Poe as the Father of Detective Fiction
E. A. Poe became the father of modern day detective stories by introducing
Dupin in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" as the first detective to use
analytical and imaginative reasoning to solve the mystery and will create a
guideline for all detective stories to come. The word "detective" was not in
existence until Poe's writings. Mysteries had existed but never such a story that
used a "detector" or placed such emphasis upon analysis versus trial and error.
The vivid painting of the scene of the crime as well as the crime itself was
likewise never done in writings until Poe.
Dupin made his born in April
1841, when Graham’s Magazine published Poe’s classic horror story “The
Murders in the Rue Morgue”. The detective appeared thereafter in “The
Mystery of Marie Rogêt” (1842–43), “The Purloined Letter” (1845).
In just
three stories, Poe created the amateur detective and his narrator friend, the
locked-room mystery, the talented but eccentric amateur sleuth outwitting the
official police force, what Haycraft calls the "catalogue of minutia," interviews
with witnesses, the first fictional case of an animal committing a perceived
murder, the first armchair detective, the first fictional case which claimed to
solve a real murder mystery previously unsolved by police, the concept of
hiding something in plain sight so that it is overlooked by everyone who is
searching for it, scattering of false clues by the criminal, accusing someone
unjustly, the concept of "ratiocination", solution and explanation by the
detective, and more. Other stories by Poe introduced cryptic ciphers,
surveillance, the least-likely person theme (in one case, the narrator of the story
is the murderer!), and other ingredients that have spiced up many a recipe for a
crime story.
Poe introduces one of the most basic elements of the detective
story, which is the presentation of clues for his readers. This idea becomes very
important in all subsequent works of detective fiction. That is, in all such
fiction, all of the clues are available for the reader and the detective to solve the
~ 12 ~
crime (usually murder), and at the end of the story, the reader should be able to
look back on the clues and realize that he could have solved the mystery. A
detective story in which the solution is suddenly revealed to the reader in
considered bad form. Poe was a man so devoted to concealment and deception
and unraveling and detection that it was only natural for it to be displayed in his
writings.
He managed to manipulate setting, character, and dialogue to lead
the reader inescapably to the emotional state most appropriate for the perfect
murder. Poe does not allow the reader to merely sit back and observe, but makes
the reader accompany the detective toward the solution and apply his own
powers of logic and deduction alongside those of the detective. Although a
crime usually has been committed, the reader's attention is diverted to the
baffling circumstances surrounding the crime rather than to the event itself. The
tale's climax is the solution of the puzzle, and the bulk of the narrative concerns
the logical process by which the investigator follows a series of clues to this
solution. Very often the "detective" solves the mystery by means of deductive
reasoning from facts known both to the character and the reader.
Poe wrote
short narratives in which he originated almost every significant principle used
by detective story writers for more than a century afterward. He called them
"tales of ratiocination" (reasoning). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L.
Sayers have placed Poe at the beginning of the tradition of detective fiction.
They believe he used numerous conventions of the genre, in particular the
"armchair detective" and sidekick/narrator to serve as an intermediary between
the detective and reader.
Poe mediates between reader and detective,
presenting what information he has to the reader, while allowing the detective to
keep certain information and interpretations to himself. This technique has since
been employed by numerous writers of detective fiction, the most famous being
the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson combination. Because it was Poe's first
"tale of ratiocination", "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" introduces more basic
~ 13 ~
5
features of detective fiction than any of Poe's other short stories. Among these
basic features are three central ideas
the murder occurs in a locked room from which there is no apparent outlet. The
police are completely baffled as to how the murderer has escaped, because the
doors were locked from the inside with the key inside with the victim, the
windows apparently nailed shut, and the chimney blocked by one of the victims'
bodies;motive, access, and other surface evidence points to an innocent person.
Frequently in detective fiction, the amateur detective is drawn into the case
because a friend or acquaintance has been falsely accused, as is Adolphe Le
Bon, who "once rendered me a service for which I am not ungrateful". Thus, M.
Dupin is drawn into the case because of an obligation to the accused.the
detective uses some sort of unexpected means to produce the solution. One
basic appeal of detective fiction lies in the unexpected solution, which becomes
logical only in retrospect.
Poe also began the tradition so fondly embraced by
connoisseurs of crime fiction – what became known as "The Rules of the
Game", which state, among other things:
fair.
(1) The detective story must play
(2) The detective story must be readable.
The detective story
emerged from Poe’s long-standing interest in mind games, puzzles, and secret
codes called cryptographs, which Poe regularly published and decoded in the
pages of the Southern Literary Messenger. He would dare his readers to submit
a code he could not decipher. More commonly, though, Poe created fake
personalities who would send in puzzles that he solved. Dupin becomes a standin for Poe, who constructs and solves an elaborate cryptograph in the form of a
bizarre murder case.
Poe’s greatest contribution can be proved by the words
of one of his famous follower – Arthur Conan Doyle: "Edgar Allan Рое was the
5
Poe, Adgar Allan. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. London: Edited by J. M. Dent & Sons. 1912 .
~ 14 ~
father of the detective tale, and covered its limits so completely that I fail to see
how his followers can find any fresh ground which they can confidently call
their own. For the secret of the thinness and also of the intensity of the detective
story is that the writer is left with only one quality, that of intellectual acuteness,
with which to endow his hero. Everything else is outside the picture and
weakens the effect. The problem and its solution must form the theme, and the
character – drawing is limited and subordinate. On this narrow path the writer
must walk, and he sees the footmarks of Рое always in front of
him ".
Literary critic and writer Vincent Buranelli said next about Edgar Poe:
"With “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” Рое became the only American ever
to invent a form of literature. He invented the detective story. He also perfected
it".
"Take, again, the marvelous train of analytical reasoning whereby he
arrives at truth in the “Rue Morgue”, a tale wherein the horror of the incidents is
overborne by the acuteness of the arguments; and is introduced by a specimen
of mind-reading...» These words belong to English writer and poet Martin
Farquhar Tupper.
From all mentioned facts we can definitely say, that Edgar
Allan Poe deserves to be named “the father of the detective story”, and his
contribution into the formation of American literature can not be
overemphasized. He created so much that is of importance in the field – literally
creating the template for all of detective fiction to follow.6
6
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2005, - p. 2659.
~ 15 ~
Chapter.3 The most famous detective stories of the author
III.1 “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”
When first published in 1841, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" was not
"typical" Edgar Allan Poe. Gaining momentum as a Gothic horror writer, Poe
had already penned "The Fall of the House of Usher" and several poems before
"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" came to be. The latter work, however,
proved that the author was so much more than a horror specialist. In fact, "Rue
Morgue" was the first of three Poe tales that warrant his distinction as the father
of detective fiction and the modern-day mystery.
For what would be his first
detective story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", Poe created Monsieur C.
Auguste Dupin. Often credited as the "first-ever fictional detective", Dupin is an
analytical and frightfully perceptive amateur private investigator. He earns the
"detective" distinction if not in title than through his process.
Poe's so-called
"detective", C. Auguste Dupin is not much more than an unemployed
philosopher with keen gifts of observation and rational assumption. Dupin earns
his private investigator status through sheer curiosity. As a member of a once
wealthy family that "by a variety of untoward events" has lost its wealth and,
thus, its status, Dupin (though certainly not destitute) retreats from Parisian
society. He hides away, collecting rare books, until a chance meeting with the
unnamed narrator starts a firm friendship. It is here that "The Murders in the
Rue Morgue" and, hence, Dupin's legacy begin.
Together, the unnamed
narrator and Dupin spend most their time reading or analyzing the world they
have shut out. However, when a newspaper chronicles the unsolved murders of
Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter, Dupin's intellectual mind cannot resist
the challenge presented by them.
Further, Dupin's acquaintance has been
imprisoned for the crimes. With no experience in crime solving or police work,
Dupin offers his services to the local police prefect for the sake of his own
amusement, confident in his ability to deduct what the police could not.
~ 16 ~
Dupin begins his investigation with a thorough review of the Gazette des
Tribunaux, a Parisian newspaper. From it, he learns the location and condition
of the bodies as well as the extent of the police's investigation.
The
newspaper also discloses that several witnesses rushed to the scene upon
hearing shrieks from inside Madame L'Espanaye's home. Each witness gives an
account of what he or she saw and heard. Upon prying open the gate, they
rushed in, but the screaming had already stopped. As they climbed the stairs,
many of the witnesses heard two voices arguing. They agree that one voice was
that of a Frenchman, but no two witnesses agree as to the language of the
second voice.
With the prefect's consent, Dupin and the narrator head to
L'Espanaye's home in the Rue Morgue. From a detailed review of the crime
scene, Dupin determines the manner of entry and the methodology of the killer.
Finding non-human hair and noting the superhuman strength necessary to
achieve the homicides and, in particular, the concealment of the Mademoiselle
L'Espanaye's corpse, Dupin confirms his suspicions — that the murderer is not
human!
Surmising the culprit to be an "Ourang-Outang of the East Indian
Islands" (presumably an orangutan), Dupin places an advertisement in a local
newspaper to effectuate the return of the animal to its owner. When the owner
comes looking for the beast, Dupin is ready with gun in hand. Thus confronted,
the owner confesses the animal's crimes.
Is C. Auguste Dupin truly a
genius? Poe, through Dupin, is quick to criticize the investigatory techniques
and mental acumen of the Paris police force. However, what inner-city Paris
police officer, or any city officer for that matter, would suspect a large Asian
primate running loose in a European city? Not to mention, it's 19th century
Paris! The police don't exactly have high-tech lab equipment and DNA samples
to work with.
With that said, Dupin is able to solve the crime where others
~ 17 ~
cannot. He does so through thorough observation, deductive reasoning, and
logical assumption, even if that logical assumption results in the conclusion that
an orange monkey is terrorizing his not-so-beloved Paris.7
Thus, Dupin is
literature's first "detective". With "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", fiction
gained a new genre, the detective story. Poe continued the genre with two later
C. Auguste Dupin tales, "The Mystery of Marie Roget" and "The Purloined
Letter".
7
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2005, - p. 2659.
~ 18 ~
III.2 "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt"
With the success of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", C. Auguste Dupin was
destined to return.
In his 1842 short story, "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt",
Poe refuses to give his audience something that merely copies Rue Morgue. The
only constants between it and the earlier Dupin tale are the reasoning and
rational assumption abilities (what Poe called "ratiocination") of Dupin himself
and the storytelling ability of an unnamed narrator sidekick
In his second try
at mystery writing, Poe focuses almost entirely on Dupin's reasoning skills, so
much so that the solving of the murder loses all its importance. The setting of
"The Mystery of Marie Rogêt", like that of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue",
is Paris. But in few ways are the stories structurally comparable.
"The
Mystery of Marie Rogêt" begins sometime after the murders in the Rue Morgue.
Dupin's credentials as a problem solver is now well established. Here, he
invokes logic to unravel the mystery surrounding the brutal murder of a young
perfume saleswoman, Marie Rogêt, Marie's body has been found floating in a
river, and her apparent murder has gone weeks unsolved. Speculation on
motives and culprits is plentiful, with the majority view being that she was
overcome by a murderous gang.
"The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" is limited to
a single setting detached from the scene of the offense. In the company of the
narrator, Dupin reads several newspaper articles pertaining to the murder and
explains his conclusions to his friend. Unlike "Rue Morgue", Dupin does not
visit the crime scene, examine evidence, or exert himself in capturing its
perpetrator.
Upon scrutinizing the articles, Dupin solves the crime to the
point of knowing how to find the murderer but without actually learning his
identity. He explains to the unnamed narrator the falseness of particular theories
and witness statements. In doing so, he often makes assumptions the reader
must accept as learned but that are often nearly as conjectural as those of the
journalists and law enforcement officers he criticizes. In the end, Dupin
~ 19 ~
constructs the method for discovering Marie's killer, but he does not employ it.
The killer himself is not captured within the confines of Poe's tale.
In stark
contrast to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", C. Auguste Dupin is not met with
an extraordinary or fantastical crime to solve. He also is not privy to entirely
true (though not always correctly comprehending) witness accounts of the
circumstances.
Instead, Dupin must wade through false assumptions and
irrational conclusions in order to decipher the truth. The murder is common in
its elements, yet unsolvable, and all too real. Much like Law & Order and other
crime dramas often tote their episodes as "ripped from the headlines", Poe
fictionalized the real-life, New York murder of Mary Rogers, even quoting
heavily from actual newspaper articles concerning Rogers' death.
Through
reasoning, which at times seems a lot like educated guessing, Dupin is able to
solve the crime. However, Dupin's analysis reads more like a lecture than a
detective story, void of any tension or climax. Reviving C. Auguste Dupin for a
third and final story, "The Purloined Letter", Poe would give new dimension to
his crafty logician.
8
8
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2005, - p. 2659.
~ 20 ~
III.3 “The Purloined Letter”
In "The Purloined Letter", there are no murders to be solved, nothing
extraordinary to behold, and no complexity to the problem Dupin is called upon
to solve. However, the beauty of the tale is in its simplicity.
"The Purloined
Letter," of course, begins with a crime. But the crime is as basic as the story's
name explicitly states — a stolen letter, one of royal significance. The culprit of
the crime is known to all. To simplify things further, the location where the
letter is concealed is also known. Dupin's sole quest is to find where on the
premises the letter is hidden and secure it before its contents can be used for
blackmail.
By merely placing himself in the shoes (and mind) of the crafty
criminal, Dupin speedily surmises that the letter must be hidden in plain sight
— hidden in such a way that intense scrutiny, such as that employed by the
police, would cause the searcher to overlook or disregard the letter. Gaining
entry into the blackmailer's home under false pretenses, Dupin spots the letter
and replaces it with a fake. He returns it the police for a large reward
So
Dupin steals a letter from the thief who stole it in the first place. What's as great
about so simple a story as "The Purloined Letter"?
When playing Texas
Hold-Em, good players play their opponents, not their cards. Being able to
anticipate what a player will do based on past hands, body language, and
whatever else one can devise about the personality of his/her opponent separates
the winners from the losers.
Likewise, the genius of "The Purloined Letter"
is that Dupin goes beyond analysis of the evidence, testimony, and crime scenes
as in Poe's two earlier stories to attempt to think like his adversary. He sums up
all he knows about the thief, weighing such personality traits as his intelligence,
his egotism, and his audaciousness. To outwit the thief, Dupin has to think like
the thief.
A short, crisp tale, "The Purloined Letter" isn't as fantastical as
"The Murders in the Rue Morgue", nor is it as endless and anti-climatic as "The
Mystery of Marie Rogêt". Instead, it offers another dimension to Poe's eccentric
~ 21 ~
logician, C. Auguste Dupin, a character who continues to serve as the
prototypical detective .Edgar Allan Poe’s contribution into the further
development
of
the
detective
tradition
Contributing greatly to the genres of horror and science fiction, Poe is now
considered as the father of the modern detective story and highly lauded as a
poet. Walt Whitman, in his essay titled “Edgar Poe’s Significance”
wrote:
«Poe’s verses illustrate an intense faculty for technical and abstract
beauty, with the rhyming art to excess, an incorrigible propensity toward
nocturnal themes, a demoniac undertone behind every page. … »
Poe was
one of the first to shift the focus of mystery stories from the aesthetics of the
situation to a more intellectual reality, moving the story from "a focus on the
superficial trappings of eerie setting and shocking event to a study of the
criminal's mind".
Poe’s "The Murders in the Rue Morgue” changed the
history of world literature. Often cited as the first detective fiction story, the
character of Dupin became the prototype for many future fictional detectives,
including Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie's Hercule
Poirot. Once Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a
root from which a whole literature has developed.... Where was the detective
story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?"
The new genre, created by
Poe is distinctive from a general mystery story in that the focus is on analysis.
The story also established many tropes that would become common elements in
mystery fiction: the eccentric but brilliant detective, the bumbling constabulary,
the first-person narration by a close personal friend. Poe also portrays the police
in an unsympathetic manner as a sort of foil to the detective. Poe also initiates
the storytelling device where the detective announces his solution and then
explains the reasoning leading up to it. It is also the first locked room
mystery.
The popularity of these tales Poe attributed to their being
"something in a new key .... people think they are more ingenious than they are
– on account of their method and air of method. In the 'Murders in the Rue
~ 22 ~
Morgue,' for instance, where is the ingenuity of unraveling a web which you
yourself (the author) have woven for the express purpose of unraveling".
The
importance of Edgar Allan Poe to American Literature should not be underestimated. In modern times, everything from Agatha Christie to "Murder She
Wrote" finds its roots in Poe's detective stories.
Edgar Allan Poe’s
importance as a detective writer may be seen in his pioneering contributions to
the genre, in the rich variety, meaning, and significance of his stories, and in
their influence on writers the world over. And Poe’s character C. Auguste
Dupin, a private detective, became the model for many later fictional
detectives.
9
9
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2005, - p. 2659.
~ 23 ~
Conclusion
The first true detective stories were written by Edgar Allan Poe. Many writers
and critics have plainly stated that he is the inventor of detective fiction. Poe
introduces one of the most basic elements of the detective story, which is the
presentation of clues for his readers. This idea becomes very important in all
subsequent works of detective fiction. That is, in all such fiction, all of the clues
are available for the reader and the detective to solve the crime (usually
murder), and at the end of the story, the reader should be able to look back on
the clues and realize that he could have solved the mystery. A detective story in
which the solution is suddenly revealed to the reader in considered bad form.
Poe was a man so devoted to concealment and deception and unraveling and
detection that it was only natural for it to be displayed in his writings. Poe did
not write any detective novels, just short stories that later on became the most
influential pieces of work for the detective story genre.
E. A. Poe became the
father of modern day detective stories by introducing Dupin in "The Murders in
the Rue Morgue" as the first detective to use analytical and imaginative
reasoning to solve the mystery. "Rue Morgue" was the first of three Poe tales
that warrant his distinction as the father of detective fiction and the modern-day
mystery. The detective appeared thereafter in “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt”
(1842–43), “The Purloined Letter” (1845).
In just three stories, Poe created
the amateur detective and his narrator friend, the locked-room mystery, the
talented but eccentric amateur sleuth outwitting the official police force, what
Haycraft calls the "catalogue of minutia", interviews with witnesses, the first
fictional case of an animal committing a perceived murder, the first armchair
detective, the first fictional case which claimed to solve a real murder mystery
previously unsolved by police, the concept of hiding something in plain sight so
that it is overlooked by everyone who is searching for it, scattering of false
clues by the criminal, accusing someone unjustly, the concept of "ratiocination",
~ 24 ~
solution and explanation by the detective, and more.
Poe was famous for his
brilliant and eccentric amateur style. Poe chose to make his stories as realistic as
he could provide a fascinating and exciting plot. Many authors have tried to
copy the same structure and plots of Poe, but not many have been able to
succeed. Exciting and fascinating plots are hard to compose. Poe made it look
easy to write such detailed and deep stories.
Poe had an ability that allowed
him to describe a fictional scene so detailed and real it was hard not to believe
that it really happened. His ability allowed him to introduce to the world
fictional detective stories.
of people today.
Poe’s writings are still very appealing to all types
From all mentioned facts we can definitely say, that Edgar
Allan Poe deserves to be named “the father of the detective story”, and his
contribution into the formation of American literature can not be
overemphasized. He created so much that is of importance in the field – literally
creating the template for all of detective fiction to follow.
Poe’s influence
upon the world was strong and important, introducing his own style, unique
structure, and appealingness.
~ 25 ~
References
1. Ackroyd, Peter. Poe, A Life Cut Short. Baltimore: Fishman Books,
1998.
2. Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.
1992, - p. 298.
3. Encyclopedia of southern culture. University of North Carolina Press.
1989.
4. Meyers, Jeffrey. Edgar Allan Poe: his life and legacy. New York
City: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1992.
5. Poe, Adgar Allan. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. London: Edited
by J. M. Dent & Sons. 1912.
6. Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. New York City: Checkmark
Books. 2001, - p. 234.
7. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
2005, - p. 2659.
8. VanSpanckeren, Kathryn. Outline of American Literature. London:
Christopher Little, 1994, - P. 22-24, 40-42.
9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detective_fiction
10.http://www.mysterynet.com/edgar-allan-poe/
11.http://www.essaychief.com/free_essays.php?essay=740727&title=Edga
r-Allan-Poe-Tales-Of-Ratiocination
12.http://www.worlds-best-detective-crime-and-murder-mysterybooks.com/1841.html
13.http://www.nps.gov/edal/forteachers/upload/detective.pdf
14.http://classic-american-fiction.suite101.com/article.cfm/the-murders-inthe-rue-morgue-by-edgar-allan-poe
15.http://www.online-literature.com/poe/
~ 26 ~
Скачать