Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 15, 2023
December 8, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
In the stories “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Purloined Letter,” Poe creates the genre of detective fiction and the original expert sleuth, C. Auguste Dupin. In both “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Purloined Letter,” Dupin works outside conventional police methods, and he uses his distance from traditional law enforcement to explore new ways of solving crimes. He continually argues that the Paris police exhibit stale and unoriginal methods of analysis. He says that the police are easily distracted by the specific facts of the crime and are unable to provide an objective standpoint from which to investigate. In “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” the police cannot move beyond the gruesome nature of the double homicide. Because they are so distracted by the mutilated and choked victims, they do not closely inspect the windows of the apartment, which reveal a point of entry and escape. Dupin distances himself from the emotional aspect of the scene’s violence. Like a mathematician, he views the crime scene as a site of calculation, and he considers the moves of the murderer as though pitted against him in a chess game.
In “The Purloined Letter,” Dupin solves the theft of the letter by putting himself at risk politically. Whereas the Paris police tread lightly around the actions of Minister D——, an important government official, Dupin ignores politics just as he ignores emotion in the gruesome murders of the Rue Morgue. In this story, Dupin reveals his capacity for revenge. When the Minister insulted him in Vienna years before the crime presently in question, Dupin promised to repay the slight. This story demonstrates that Dupin’s brilliance is not always dispassionately mathematical. He cunningly analyzes the external facts of the crime, but he is also motivated by his hunger for revenge. Dupin must function as an independent detective because his mode of investigation thrives on intuition and personal cunning, which cannot be institutionalized in a traditional police force.
Read about another classic fictional sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, in the context of Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “The Red-Headed League.”
Ace your assignments with our guide to Poe's Short Stories!