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The Purloined Letter

The Purloined Letter

by Edgar Allan Poe

Versions of Reality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"That is another of your odd notions," said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling everything "odd" that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of "oddities." (4)

This is an awesome (and rare) bit of personality from our narrator. Okay, so we're not convinced that G— is quite as unintelligent as Dupin and the narrator make him out to be, but it's still true that dismissing things as "odd" is no way to solve crimes.

Quote #2

"Ha! ha! ha!—ha! ha! ha!—ho! ho! ho!" roared our visitor, profoundly amused, "Oh, Dupin, you will be the death of me yet!" (15)

If you've read a lot of Poe, this might make you think that G— will die by Dupin's hand by the end of the tale. No such luck. This is just one of the ways Poe tries to trick us into thinking we're about to embark on one of his usual super-dark tales of murder and mayhem.

Quote #3

"The minister decamped, leaving his own letter—one of no importance—upon the table." (28)

The minister severely alters the royal lady's reality at this moment. By switching the letters, he transforms her from free to trapped. Not so for the royal man, who remains in his own blithely oblivious version of reality.

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