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Film Research Essay






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John 1
Stacy John
Michele Braun
English 2301
21 June, 2013
The Great Amateur Detectives: Auguste Dupin and Sherlock Holmes
During this course, there are detective stories as well as spy novels and psychological
thrillers to examine the history and theory of crime and conspiracy fiction. The topics discussed
during the course are connected to the texts discussed in class. The stories that have been read in
class have illustrated the changes and developments in mystery and crime writing to show the
influences of the past and the present. The detective fiction is a popular and literary genre and the
stories have offered the opportunity to consider the short mystery fiction. In this essay, there will
be an analysis made on investigators and the connection made to the texts we read in class which
are Murders in the Rue Morgue and Silver Blaze.
In this essay, there will be a brief summary of the murder story Murders in the Rue
Morgue. The story begins with an unnamed narrator telling the story of the murder and crime
detection. The story is surrounded by the double murder of Madame L Espanaye and her
daughter Mademoiselle Camille L Espanaye (Mansfield-Kelly and Marchino 61). The murder
happened on the fourth floor of an apartment in the Rue Morgue (Mansfield-Kelly and Marchino
61). The neighbours claim that they heard unusual sounds and could not identify the language
being spoken (Mansfield-Kelly and Marchino 64). Dupin assumes that they were not hearing a
human voice, since none of the witnesses could identify the language the murderer spoke. Dupin
finds a hair at the scene of the murder and claims that it is not a human hair (Mansfield-Kelly
and Marchino 62). Dupin asks the sailor if he had an Ourang-Outang that went missing. The

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sailor admits that the animal had escaped with the sailors shaving razor and entered the
apartment of the Rue Morgue and used that same razor to shave Madame L Espanaye as an
imitation of the sailors daily routine (Mansfield-Kelly and Marchino 79-80). The Ourang-
Outang, in fear, squeezes Mademoiselle’s throat until she died and stuffs her body in the chimney
(Mansfield-Kelly and Marchino 81). The sailor, aware of the murder, escapes.
In addition to the summary is an analysis of the Auguste Dupin as an amateur detective in
Murders in the Rue Morgue. There are some common types of investigators such as the amateur
detective, the private investigator, and the police (Braun, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue). In
the Murders in the Rue Morgue, the first amateur detective is seen by Edgar Allan Poe’s
character, Auguste Dupin. The story relies on the role of the narrator as Dupin’s friend. Poe
chooses not to use Dupin because in the sense of detaching the work of the mind and how the
story is described (“Summary and Analysis “The Murders in the Rue Morgue””). The narrator
enhances Dupin as a detective hero and admires him for his analysis (“Summary and Analysis
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue””). The narrator is outwitted by Dupin and demonstrates that
Dupin thinks one step ahead of the police and the reader (“Summary and Analysis “The Murders
in the Rue Morgue””).
Dupin is an amateur detective because when he is at the crime scene, the narrator along
with the reader witnesses the same evidence, but Dupin explains the true nature of the evidence
and analytically understands it with a bigger piece of the puzzle. Poe’s ideas have put forth a
cunning edge on Dupin. Dupin is brilliant in the sense that he separates himself from the
emotional aspects of the crime scene. As an amateur detective, Dupin looks beyond the emotion
and violence and investigates the small details that go unnoticed by the police. An example is the
double murder case of Madame and Mademoiselle Camille L Espanaye and according to Dupin

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draws the police from solving the crime. Dupin uses rational and deduction and comes to the
conclusion that the Ourang-Outang did the crime. As ridiculous as it seems, Poe may have
created a humorous twist to the story line. Most murderers in detective stories are humans, but
Poe twists it around and instead the murderer is an animal.
The heart of the story becomes the heart of every detective story and it is not centered on
the action of the crime but rather on how Dupin explains of how he solved it. Dupin uses certain
clues such as the reports of the neighbours hearing strange language and the fact that there is no
means of entering the room when the murder took place (“Summary and Analysis “The Murders
in the Rue Morgue””). These are clues which enable Dupin to master the case. Dupin uses his
skills as an amateur detective to deduce that the criminal must be an animal and that the mode of
reasoning is the process of elimination and determine the impossibilities are a reality after all
(“Summary and Analysis “The Murders in the Rue Morgue””). Dupin beats the police at their
own game of figuring out that it was the escaped Ourang-Outang who did the killing.
Dupin as an amateur detective investigates the environment and the premises of
the setting. The newspaper reports that it is impossible to solve the crime since the apartment is
locked and enclosed and there is no means of escape for the murderer (“Summary and Analysis
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue””). Dupin uses his method of “ratiocination” of not asking the
question “what has occurred,” but rather asking the question “what has occurred that has never
occurred before” (“Summary and Analysis “The Murders in the Rue Morgue””). Dupin is
looking at the solution to the mystery by means of the apparent insolubility according to the
police (“Summary and Analysis “The Murders in the Rue Morgue””). Dupin looks at the solution
as not just as the solution on how to solve the mystery but how the solution is carried about.

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Just what I was looking for! Super helpful.