Presentation on theme: "The Purloined Letter Edgar Allen Poe Jade Witmer, Dakota Hill, Dylan Finn, Rebecca Shedrick, Katie Griffith, Brandon Goodwin."— Presentation transcript:
The Purloined Letter Edgar Allen Poe Jade Witmer, Dakota Hill, Dylan Finn, Rebecca Shedrick, Katie Griffith, Brandon Goodwin
Summary One fall evening in Paris, France during 18--, the narrator and his friend, C. Auguste Dupin, are talking when Monsieur G, a Prefect for the Paris police, walk in and tells them of a recent case that has been bothering the Prefect and he can not solve. A letter was stolen from a lady by the Minister which contains information that could destroy a person of a high influence in Paris society. The Police have searched the Minister's place in every possible "nook and cranny". A month later, the Prefect tells the narrator and Dupin that he would pay 50,000 francs to the person who found the letter. Monsieur G wrote the check address to Dupin who produced the letter. Dupin stated that the Prefect assumed the letter to be hidden out of sight, not laying disguised in plain sight. On his first visit to the Minister's home, Dupin finds the letter and on the second he steals it back!
Anti-Transcendentalism Theme Poe stressed intuition and the flaws of humans. Dupin mentioned several times that the Prefect had been focused on going through his routine, not thinking in the mind of the Minister. "... what is it all but an exaggeration of the application of the one principle or the set of principles of search which are based upon the one set of notions regarding human ingenuity, to which the Prefect in the long routine of his duty has been accustomed."
Anti-Transcendentalism Theme Dupin also used intuition over numbers and logic alone. he assumed that the Minister knew the Prefect's routine, and so he would place the letter in the open to avoid the eye of the police. "I felt that his whole train of thought would necessarily pass through the mind of the minister. It would imperatively lead him to despise all the ordinary nooks of concealment. He could not, I reflected, be so weak as not to see that the most intricate and remote recess of his hotel would be as open as his commonest closets to the eyes, to the probes, to the gimlets, and to the microscopes of the Prefect." This picture shows a letter in a historic setting with a red seal as described by the Prefect. It has a darker, mysterious feel to it, especially with the way the light is hitting it.
Imagery The narrator and Dupin were sitting a dark room filled with smoke from the meerschaum pipes in the evening. "At Paris, just after dark one gusty evening in the autumn of 18-, I was enjoying the twofold luxury of mediation and a meerschaum... with the curling eddies of smoke that oppressed the atmosphere of the chamber." This imagery creates a mysterious and slight eerie feeling about the room, wondering what is going to happen next. The smoke represents the smoke that filled the chamber which the narrator and Dupin sat while conversing with the Prefect. It gives a clouded, spooky, and mysterious feeling.
Tone Poe's tone about the subject is almost sarcastic and teasing. Dupin makes the Prefect seem like an idiot because the Prefect is using all these tools such as "probes", "gimlets", and "microscopes" to locate the letter. He only sees his routine. He has been caught up on the minuscule details, not focusing on the big picture. He uses logic and lacks the intuition that is a major aspect of romanticism. "'... we examined the rungs of every chair in the hotel, and, indeed the jointings of every description of furniture, by the aid of a most powerful microscope. Had there been any traces of recent disturbance we should not have failed to detect it instantly, A single grain of gimlet- dust, for example, would have been as obvious as an apple.' " " 'The measures, then,' he continued, 'were good in their kind, and well executed; their defect lay in their being inapplicable to the case, and to the man.;"
Mood In relation to the time period, Poe creates a sense of suspense for the reader. They keep reading and reading in an attempt to figure where the letter is and how Dupin was able to obtain it almost effortlessly, while the Prefect had spent many months on the search. " I was astounded. The Prefect appeared absolutely thunder-stricken. For some minutes he remained speechless and motionless, looking incredulously at my friend with open mouth, and eyes that seemed starting from their sockets..."
Symbolism The magnifying glass that the Prefect and the police used, or the "microscope" as it was called through out the story, symbolized that one must not rely on only statistics, logic, and numbers to come to a conclusion. Critical thinking is usually required to solve a problem. " ' We also measured the thickness of every book-cover, with the most accurate admeasurement, and applied to each the most jealous scrutiny of the microscope. had any of the bindings been recently meddled with, it would have utterly impossible that the fact should have escaped observation. ' " This is a great picture to show the magnifying glass. It matches the quote about measuring the thickness of a book and it emphasizes detail.
Motifs One of the main motifs is comparing rationalism to romanticism. Dupin showed intuition, which is romanticism, while the Prefect referred to logic and science to attempt to identify the letter. The Prefect sees the Minister as just a mathematician and that tends to be narrow minded and sees things also logically. Dupin sees the Minister as a mathematician and a poet, realizing his poetic ability and intuition helped him avoid being caught by the Prefect and the Paris police. " 'I mean to say,' continued Dupin,... ' that if the Minister had been no more than a mathematician, the Prefect would have been under no necessity of giving me this check. I know him, however, as both mathematician and poet, and my measures were adapted to his capacity, with reference to the circumstances by which he was surrounded.' "
This picture was chosen because the Eiffel Tower shows the setting is in Paris, but it also gives it a creepy and enigmatic atmosphere. This shows that the story took place during autumn. The fog, bare trees, and gray sky again gives a eerie and mysterious atmosphere.
The cards do not mean much to the story. It is the red standing out that represents how the letter was out in the obvious, not hidden in the place that one, such as the Prefect would look. The black and red cards give it a darker, Gothic atmosphere. The numbers characterize the mathematician and his logical reasoning. The black text gives it a darker feel that one gets with the Gothic style.
The masquerade mask was chosen because the letter's appearance had been altered during the story. The Prefect had the wrong vision in his mind of what he was searching for because he focused on only the description, thinking, not imagining, that it could look different than it was described. This, again, shows intuition over logic. The black, red, and white color scheme work well with the Gothic feeling. The picture frame represents the theme of seeing "the big picture." The Prefect kept his eye in the magnifying glass the entire time he was searching rather than starting broad and then working his way to paying attention to detail.
A cliff was chosen because some people use the term "cliff hanger" at a suspenseful part of a story. The mood, for this time period, was suspenseful. The fog adds to the mysterious feel of the Gothic style. This picture of Paris was chosen to show that the story took place here. It also shows the anti- transcendentalist idea that cities are better than nature.
The needle and thread shows the Prefect's character because he was so specific and precise in his search. He looked at every seam on every piece of furniture, carpet, or curtain possible to infer that the letter was not there. Again, this shows the attention to detail, rather than seeing the whole picture. The rustic look gives a mysterious, Gothic, feel. The light on this train represents the lone "spark" or idea of imagination which leads to the deeper level of thought that Dupin was able to obtain through intuition, a factor of romanticism. The dark loneliness gives a slight dark feeling that can be associated with Gothic style.
This picture is supposed to symbolize Dupin's intuition, using the term "women's intuition." Dupin used intuition rather than logic to find the letter. This black and white image gives a mysterious feel to it. This schedule represents Prefect's routine and structured character and how he did the same thing in every search the exact same way as the last.
Mrs. Livaudais was chosen to represent the tone of the selection which was sarcasm. Dupin kind of teases the Prefect for being a "mathematician" and using numbers,tools, and logic to solve a problem that requires "I have a sarcastic sense of humor," - Mrs. Livaudais, first day of school opinion, critical thinking, and intuition. Dupin knew that it would take the mind of a "poet" to catch a "poet".