Edgar Allen Poe's "Murders In The Rue Morgue"

945 words - 4 pages

In Edgar Allen Poe's short story, 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', aclassic detective story is played out in a seedy Paris suburb. The story begins asthe narrator meets Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, a poor but well-read young man.As they become close friends, they live together in seclusion, departing onlybriefly each evening to take introspective strolls along the dark Paris streets.Soon both the reader and the narrator begin to see Dupin's intimate knowledgeof the human mind, always an underlying element in Poe's prose. Dupin'sextraordinary observances are made by retracing a 'course' of human thoughtuntil an endpoint, the thought that is presently in the subject's head, is reached.With this still fresh in mind, Poe gives us a mystery taken right from the localGazette, two recent murders with questionable motives and circumstances, thesearch for the murderer has proved futile. Poe's stage is now set. The murders,of Madame and Mademoiselle L'Espanaye are then related by a series of eleveneyewitnesses, a diverse mix of occupation and culture. However, they concur onone point: all heard an indistinguishable voice ('that of a foreigner') and one ofan angered Frenchman at the scene of the crime. As the account of the lastwitness is registered, Dupin and the narrator decide to examine the apartmenton the Rue Morgue for themselves. The Sherlock Holmes-like protagonist doesnot disappoint us. Dupin assures the narrator that he knows who the culprit is,and he is indeed awaiting his arrival. After collecting evidence and carefulanalysis, Dupin seems to have solved the murder beyond the shadow of a doubt.The strange circumstances lead Dupin to believe that the perpetrator could nothave been human but of the animal kingdom. He cites an orangutan as the killer,an escapee from a careless owner. This accounts for the grotesque methods ofmurder and the foreign 'voice' that is heard at the scene of the crime. The angryFrenchman witnesses mentioned was the ape's owner, who discovered his pet'splunder after it was too late. Dupin is correct in his accusation and places an adin the Gazette for a found orangutan. The owner comes right to him, and themystery is solved.'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' is a showcase of Poe's amazing writingstyle, and the short story is full of rhetorical devices. Two literary devices thatare evident are Poe's creative use of point of view and gothic setting. 'TheMurders in the Rue Morgue' is told in the first person point of view, presumablyPoe's view, acting as a narrator. This point of view provides for a more intimaterelation of the sordid tale, stating, ' I often dwelt meditatively upon the oldphilosophy of the Bi-Part Soul, and amused myself with the fancy of a doubleDupin-the creative and the resolvent. (p. 4)' Without this personal point of view,the reader would be oblivious to Dupin's separate personalities. This 'up closeand personal' view of Dupin is known because of the first person narration.Another point...

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