Stephen Bertman Analysis

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A Thief Observed:
Why Stephen Bertman’s Work on Plagiarism is a Respectable Academic Source Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle plagiarize Edgar Allan Poe? This idea has been contested for over a century and scholars have come to a consensus that Doyle did indeed plagiarize Sherlock Holmes from Poe’s character known as C. Auguste Dupin. In Stephen Bertman’s, “Kindred Crimes: Poe’s “ The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and Doyle’s The Sign of Four”, he looks deeper into the debate by comparing Doyle’s The Sign of Four to Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, and analyzing whether Doyle plagiarized Poe’s plot. Bertman’s essay may be considerably short in length, but it does make a fair analysis on whether or not Doyle plagiarized Poe. His essay’s credibility …show more content…

The length of the essay is rather short, with four pages of text and two pages of notes, making it appear that Bertman’s ideas are underdeveloped. Despite its short length, this essay has developed ideas that would be useful for someone to mention and cite in their own works. Bertman uses a comparison between the two stories and quotes from others to develop the idea of whether Doyle plagiarised Poe. Although Bertman does not effectively state his stance on that idea, he does give the reader enough development and research for them to form their own stance and ideas. Another area where Bertman’s work appears to be underdeveloped is in his comparison between Doyle’s The Sign of Four and Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”. When he is comparing the murderers, Bertman neglects to examine the racism behind Tonga, the murderer in Doyle’s novel. Bertman adds this description of Tonga in his comparison, “The killer is described in the story as ‘a little black man . . . with a great misshapen head and a shock of tangled, disheveled hair,’ ‘a little blood-thirsty imp’ with ‘venomous, menacing eyes’ and ‘thick lips’ who exhibited ‘bestiality and cruelty’ and ‘a half animal fury’.” (207). But he fails to interpret the racism of that description, causing his idea to look underdeveloped. It would be beneficial and interesting to have this idea be examined, but it is certainly not necessary due to it not being the main idea of the essay. While Bertman’s essay may be short in length and lacking explanations for smaller ideas, it is still well developed enough to be cited in someone else’s

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