Argumentative Essay

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Edgar Allan Poe wrote unusual stories and was even known for his eccentric and gothic style, but “The Purloined Letter” was out of the ordinary for him. This final installment of a three part series, The Gift, published in December of 1844 was a combination of both Poe’s usual gothic as well as psychological style that created the mystery genre. By presenting an only superficial resolution to a highly complex situation with intelligent and corrupt characters and a bias narrator, Poe suggests that the only story worth telling is one of a journey that never truly ends. On the surface, “The Purloined Letter,” has a detective versus criminal mastermind storyline typical of many seen today on various media from television to films to books. This …show more content…

They are both intelligent, use a fake letter to steal the main letter in plain sight, and most importantly, they are able to understand their opponent. Minister D- demonstrates this when he hides the letter in plain sight thinking it would be Monsieur G-, not Dupin, that would come after him (Poe 2743-2744). Minister D- understands Monsieur G-; he knows the Perfect would search thoroughly but only in the way he thinks is logical. That is why Minister D- hid the letter in such an illogical and obvious place. However, he did not realize that Monsieur G- would go to Dupin for help. It is this lack of information that allows Dupin to find the letter in yet another reoccurrence of the game of imperfect information. Dupin shows his understanding best when he explains how by using the information told by Monsieur G- to better understand Minister D-‘s reasoning of hiding in plain sight (Poe 2741-2742) he was able to use Minister D’s own trick against him by replacing the letter with a fake right in front of him. Furthermore, Dupin’s note in his fake letter to D- refers to the play of Atrée et Thyeste wherein two brothers, Atreus and Thyestes, engage in a constant battle to defeat the other (Poe 2745). This deliberate attempt by Dupin to allude to the relationship of almost brotherly feud between him and Minister D- suggests that they are in many ways very alike. Similarly, the epigraph in the beginning of the story means “Too much cleverness doesn’t make good sense” (Shmoop, “Analysis”). This connects the two men again through the bonds of brotherhood and being too clever to realize their

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