Edgar Poe's Auguste Dupin

Essay by njutka April 2004

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To make a correct conclusion, let's make clear who is a romantic hero? In my opinion, a romantic hero is usually someone innocent and carefree, separate from the masses, and is almost always on some type of journey. And a pioneer is a person who is a person who goes first or does something first. So, was Auguste Dupin a pioneer?

My answer is positive. To my mind, Dupin is a significant figure in the world literature, because he is the first hero as thinker; his analytical thinking shows that there is nothing impossible for a man to do and discover. He is depicted as a "thinking machine," somehow not quite a complete human being. He combines logic, scientific investigation, and creativity in his crime solving. He is mostly indifferent to the feelings of discomfort and misery in his fellows. Through some quirk of character, he has lost the ability to feel.

For this reason, he prefers privacy, which is a sign of his separateness from the rest of the human race. And he was the first to be called as a detective.

Actually, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" holds an extremely crucial place in the evolution of literature. It breaks from previously established literary traditions and forges new territory for Poe's own style and theme. Before the word "detective" had even been created, Poe has written the very first detective story. World famous characters in both literature and television today such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Watson and Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his assistant Hastings are the "followers" of Poe's Auguste Dupin and his friend whose name we do not know. Although only few recall that it was Auguste Dupin who really laid the foundation for these tales that would follow.