Schools & Districts
All of Shmoop
Cite This Page
The Purloined Letter
Edgar Allan Poe
The Purloined Letter
Best of the Web
Find More Study Questions by Theme
Cunning and Cleverness
Lies and Deceit
Versions of Reality
Rules and Order
Table of Contents
AP English Language
AP English Literature
SAT Test Prep
ACT Exam Prep
Find the Perfect College
Your dream school is right around the corner. Search to find colleges that might be a match for you.
What you want to study:
AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE OPERATIONS, AND RELATED SCIENCES
ARCHITECTURE AND RELATED SERVICES
AREA, ETHNIC, CULTURAL, AND GENDER STUDIES
BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
BUSINESS, MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, AND RELATED SUPPORT SERVICES
COMMUNICATION, JOURNALISM, AND RELATED PROGRAMS
COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS AND SUPPORT SERVICES
COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES
ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES/HUMAN SCIENCES
FOREIGN LANGUAGES, LITERATURES, AND LINGUISTICS
HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND RELATED CLINICAL SCIENCES
HEALTH-RELATED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
HIGH SCHOOL/SECONDARY DIPLOMAS AND CERTIFICATES
INTERPERSONAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS
LEGAL PROFESSIONS AND STUDIES
LEISURE AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES, GENERAL STUDIES AND HUMANITIES
MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS
MECHANIC AND REPAIR TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS
NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PARKS, RECREATION, LEISURE, AND FITNESS STUDIES
PERSONAL AND CULINARY SERVICES
PERSONAL AWARENESS AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT
PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROFESSIONS
RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS (JROTC, ROTC)
SECURITY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES
TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION/INDUSTRIAL ARTS
THEOLOGY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS
TRANSPORTATION AND MATERIALS MOVING
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
District Of Columbia
Search for Colleges
The Purloined Letter Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
Why does everyone in the story seem so uninterested in what the letter actually contains? Is there any good reason to assume that the scandal is sexual in nature?
What kind of practical advice does the story seem to offer about reason, logic, and emotion? Does it really seem to be recommending the approach of a combined poet and mathematician?
How truthful is the narrator? At what moments in the story might he seem less than truthful? From what motivations does he appear to be operating?
What role does imagination play in the story? At what point do characters appear to be using (or misusing) their imaginations?
What effect does Poe appear to achieve by telling the story using primarily dialogue instead of action? Why might he choose to tell the story in such a way?
Why are the characters not fully developed? Are they supposed to be real characters, or are they simply talking heads that Poe is using to develop ideas?
What elements of this story seem similar to Poe's usual murder-and-mayhem style? Can we call this horror or gothic, or is it pure detection? How could the two genres be related?
Need help with College?
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy. |
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy.