One of Poe’s works featuring the detective C Augustine Dupin is The Purloined Letter. Notably, Poe is credited with inventing and establishing the mystery fiction genre through The Purloined Letter and other stories of the same caliber. Notably, the Purloined Letter incorporates many items that demonstrate the detective fiction genre. These characters include a detective, a cop, a sidekick, and an arch-villain. In addition, the narrative uses first-person narration. Surprisingly, the plot would not allow the reader to speculate who the culprit is or how the crime was carried out. For instance, Poe offers a puzzle where the minister conceals the queen’s letter, however, he does not provide any trail of clues for the readers. Thus, evoking suspense where the reader’s attention is captured and the urge to know more is initiated.
Further, another aspect of the work entails the pervasive doubling motif; it underlies the structure of the story as a whole while characterizing various relationships, particularly that of M. Dupin and his rival, the Minister. Notably, the author’s use of doublings sometimes goes beyond the presentation of Dupin’s strategy of investigating. Readers can realize the Dupin’s strategy entails detection through psychological identification with a foe. Additionally, Poe presents the motive of personal revenge regarding Dupin against the Minister who “once did him an evil turn” (Poe 14). The Purloined Letter is divided into two parts; the first part narrates a dramatic mystery while the second part explains how the detective solves the mystery. The story also unleashes political turmoil by the affair of the letter. The minister has perceived it to gain political advantage over the anonymous owner, as well as the interests that she represents.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Purloined Letter. 1st ed., 1845.