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Edgar Allan Poe's Dupin and Sir Arthur Doyle's Sherlock Holmes

By Cheekycrisps1 Apr 17, 2014 759 Words
Edgar Allan Poe’s character Dupin was looked fondly upon by Sir Arthur Doyle, so much so that Doyle based aspects of Sherlock Holmes off this timeless crime solver. The Hound of the Baskervilles was written by Sir Arthur Doyle and published in the year 1901. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Murders in the Rue Morgue”, was published sixty years after Doyle’s famous work of literature. The key to any famous mystery are the characters and the crime itself. Without these two elements there would not be a worthwhile story. The heroes in any story are the most remembered characters. In both the “Murders in Rue Morgue” and The Hound of the Baskervilles, there is a uniquely characterized hero. This hero rarely goes unaccompanied in its grand adventures to help others and solve the crimes that have proven a worthy challenge. Sherlock Holmes has his faithful companion Dr. Watson, while Dupin’s sidekick is the mysteriously nameless narrator. Sherlock relies on Watson greatly but it is rare he tells him of this. “…my dear fellow, it is at the hour of action that I turn for to you for aid…” (Doyle). Holmes and Dupin’s investigation styles are both similarly based on their massive intellect and abilities to think outside the box everyone seems to be placed in. These detectives let us into their busy minds with explanations on how they came to conclusions during the investigation. Sherlock, in contrast to Dupin, feels the need to smoke heavily during his crime solving. Both are view by many as haughty, in the way they don’t trust police because they are certain to miss a very important clue. Sherlock’s way of degrading his partner does not help his stuck-up image. Dupin however respects his companion and views him as a (almost) equal. Though both the heroes have very different personalities, they both are eager to solve the mystery they are faced. Ever so equally eager for the heroes to fail, are the villains. Animals played a very important role in the villain categories of both these mysteries. In the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, the entire book was written around the hound. The animal was not responsible however for the deaths of the victims, unlike in “Murders in the Rue Morgue”. The orangutan was the culprit, who physically did the crime, of its own free will. The anthropoid’s owner had nothing to do with the death of the women, besides the carelessness in his matter of locking the ape up. However, when it came to the Baskervilles, the hound’s owner was completely responsible in every aspect of the wronging. The hound the other itself was merely just a prop in is master plan, to acquire the Baskerville’s fortune. The orangutan had completely different motives then the evil man in the previously read story. It was only following its instincts and that brings no fault. During the crime itself, there are many motives that are later proved false. In the “Murders in the Rue Morgue”, the police thought that the murder was over money and they were caught up on that particular conclusion for the whole investigation. Holmes didn’t have much of a road-block in his mystery because he is always a step ahead. Dupin’s story had an oddness to the crime committed as did Sherlock’s. In the Hound of the Baskervilles a fiery ghost hound was thought to be the responsible one for the murders of the Baskerville family, while in Edgar Allan Poe’s story, a monstrous sized beast was the guilty party. The “Murders in the Rue Morgue” was more detailed and provided its readers with a gory image to remember it by. “…On a chair lay a razor, besmeared with blood. On the hearth were two or three long and thick tresses of grey human hair, also dabbled in blood, and seeming to have been pulled out by the roots…” (Poe). It gave the ability to the readers to make individual inferences, yet it didn’t supply all the information needed to solve. Sherlock gave all the cards, “…I am giving you some information now…” (Doyle), but decided to leave out the directions to play them. The characters and the crime are by no doubt the distinguishers between different stories. As their main characters reflect each other, the crimes themselves are completely different in every aspect. Doyle’s great interest in Dupinundoubtedly influences his main character. Doyle still takes his own creativity with the villains and crime.

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