The Purloined Letter

Topics: C. Auguste Dupin, Detective fiction, The Purloined Letter Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: May 5, 2013

Analysis of “The Purloined Letter” using Structuralist Criticism

The purloined letter is a detective story which has so many complex language that has more than one interpretion in some sentences. The content of "The purloined Letter" is an investigation for a missing letter. The whole story happens in two places primarily: one is C. Auguste Dupin’s little back library and the other is the hotel Minister D lives in. There are six characters in the story. Only one is a woman, the queen, and the others are all men, including C. Auguste Dupin, a guy who is good at analyzing things and making inferences; his friend, the narrator of the story whose name is unknown; Monsieur G, the Prefect of the Parisian police; and Minister D. D stole the queen’s love letter and knew her secret of affair. He used this to threaten the queen to listen to his command. In order to stop D and get back her own power, the queen asked G to help her get back the letter surreptitiously. However, because G overlooked the complication of the case, he failed to find his target, no matter how hard he had tried. As a result, he turned to Dupin and the narrator to seek for some good suggestions. Dupin saw the complication of the case and tried another way to infer the possible place where the letter was hidden. Finally, he got the letter back from D and helped G to complete his mission.

There are three binary opposition in “ The purloined letter” The first binary is simple vs complex. For example, at the beginning of the story, Dupin point of view in solving the case seems odd in G eyes, this showed that he did not agree with Dupin and his odd nations for they were far beyond his comprehension. He preferred his own ideas which more normal and simple in his eyes, in short, always follow the procedures. This also reveals G’s habit of being used to simplifying things, G couldn’t find the later after one month investigation and Dupin’s habit of thinking outside the box, looking at things from...
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