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Deception In The Purloined Letter

In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” deception, revenge, and logic vs. creative thinking were among many of the themes that were present in the story. These themes are important in the story because Dupin was deceptive to multiple people and took revenge on Minister D. Monsieur, the Prefect, searched for the letter using logical thinking and on the other hand, Dupin looked for the letter using imagination and creative thinking. Dupin deceived his friend, by not telling his friend that he had the letter. Dupin deceived Minister D by replacing the letter while Minister D was distracted.

Dupin also deceived the Prefect by giving him suggestion to search for the letter again even though Dupin took the letter and made him search for about a month. The other major theme is revenge. Dupin revenge Minister D by taking the letter he had and replacing it by a letter that he made because Minister D did something bad to him back in Vienna. Dupin and the Prefect used two different tactics in locating the letter, but only one of them succeeded in finding the letter. Poe exposes these three themes in the story through C.

Auguste Dupin which are deception, revenge, and thinking In this story, Dupin deceived many characters. First, Dupin deceives his friend (who is also the narrator of the story) by not telling his friend that he has the letter. His friend did not know that Dupin visited Minister D and replaced the purloined letter with an identical letter that he made. Dupin also deceived the Prefect. He made the Prefect look for the letter again for about a month even though he had the letter. Dupin wanted the reward that the Prefect offered, which was fifty thousand francs.

After hearing the story that Prefect told him about the stolen letter, who the suspect is, and how much the reward was, Dupin bought some time from the Prefect to get the letter himself. He got the letter and waited for the Prefect to return to him after finishing the search again. When the Prefect returned, Dupin told him to write the check and after the Prefect signs it, he will hand over the letter to Prefect. Dupin made sure that even his friend did not know about the letter, maybe because his friend could have taken it and gotten the reward.

Dupin also deceived Minister D by taking the purloined letter from Minister D without him knowing about it by creating a distraction. Nandu Koni states in his article, “Edgar Allan Poe also uses characters actions to develop Dupin and shows how Dupin in the beginning is credible and trustworthy; however towards the end he deceives everyone with the overcoming emotion of greediness” (Koni). Dupin’s deception to the Prefect was to get the reward and for that he had to deceive Minister D. Also, Dupin deceived his friend because he might have claimed the reward for getting the purloined letter.

The other major theme in “The Purloined Letter,” is revenge. Other than deception, Dupin also took revenge on Minister D. According to the story, Dupin and Minister D knew each other from before because it mentions them back in Vienna when Minister D did something bad to Dupin. In the text, Dupin tells why he took revenge on Minister D: Why –it did not seem altogether right to leave the interior blank –that would have been insulting. D–, at Vienna once, did me an evil turn, which I told him, quite good-humoredly, that I should remember.

So, as I knew he would feel some curiosity in regard to the identity of the person who had outwitted him, I thought it a pity not to give him a clue. He is well acquainted with my MS. , and I just copied into the middle of the blank sheet the words. (Poe) When Minister D did something bad to Dupin, he said to Minister D that he will remember what Minister D did. Now, after some time from that incident, Dupin finally had an opportunity to get back at him, so plotted his revenge and succeeded. On Dupin’s first visit to Minister D’s apartment, he found the letter and paid close attention to the details.

Then, on his second visit he replaced that letter with an identical letter that he had created, so Minister D would not suspect him of stealing the letter and killing him, while Minister D was distracted by a man on the street shooting, which was also a setup of Dupin. He outsmarted Minister D and got his revenge. Lastly, different ways of thinking or tactics were used to find the purloined letter in this story. Dupin used imagination and creative thinking, whereas the Prefect used logical thinking.

Michael Cummings, The Purloined Letter states: Moreover, the police used only logical, methodical reasoning. The minister, on the other hand, used not only logical reasoning but also intuitive and creative thinking. Although the minister is well known as a proficient mathematician, it was his talent as a poet—a talent that the prefect looks down on—that helped him to outthink the police. (Cummings) The Prefect searched for the letter using the logical thinking because he thought it would be logical to look in obvious places.

He looked everywhere, but not in the plain site. Minister D knew the places the police would look for that letter and hid it where the police would least expect it to be, in plain sight. Dupin used imagination and creative thinking to look for the purloined letter by searching in plain sight. When the Prefect told Dupin the places that he looked for the purloined letter, he knew where Minister D could have hidden the letter. So when he visited Minister D, he looked for the stolen letter in visible places.

He wore green glasses so Minister D did not know where he was looking. He found the stolen letter in a pile of other letters and papers on a table where the police did not even bother to look at. Minister D may have outsmarted the police but Dupin outplayed him. The story is based on these themes. Poe exposes these themes in “The Purloined Letter,” through all the characters. Poe used deception through Dupin by having Dupin deceive his friend, the Prefect, and Minister D. His friend did not knew about the purloined letter that he had already found.

Dupin did not tell his friend maybe because his friend would have turned in the stolen letter to the police and collected the reward money. He suggested the Prefect to go back and look for the letter again, which gave him time to find the letter himself and get fifty thousand francs from the Prefect. He tricked Minister D by locating the purloined letter first, then replacing it with an identical letter by creating a distraction from a man that he paid. Revenge was another theme which Poe reveals through Dupin and Minister D. Minister D once did something bad to Dupin back in Vienna.

Now Dupin got him back for that evil thing that he had done by taking away the letter that Minister D had. There were two ways that were used to locate the stolen letter. The Prefect’s way was logical thinking which is common sense. He thought like a thief and where Minister D would hide the letter. Whereas Minister D knew that the police would think he hid the letter in a secure place but instead he hid the letter in plain view. Dupin knew Minister D was a mathematician and thought like him to find the letter. These were the three major themes that Poe used in “The Purloined Letter. ”

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