There are many interesting literary techniques used in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” but one of the most noteworthy is Poe’s choice of narrator: why did he choose to tell the story from the point of view of Dupin’s friend and not Dupin himself? Dupin’s friend- the nameless narrator- is a significant part of the story and enhances the work in many ways.
C. Auguste Dupin was one of the first detectives introduced to the literary world, but his character would not be as prominent today if Poe had chosen to tell the story from his point of view; the detachment we get from Dupin’s mind by means of an alternative narrator emphasizes how good of a detective he truly is. By seeing his analytical work through the eyes of another person, we see how he picks up on details in a way no one else does. His friend, the narrator, describes his own experience at the scene of the murder; “I saw nothing beyond what had been stated in the Gazette des Tribunaux” (Poe 154). Even after Dupin asks him if he had observed anything peculiar, he says “No, nothing peculiar” (Poe 154). Poe uses the narrator and his observations of the scene (or lack thereof) to show how much more perceptive Dupin is than others who witness the same evidence. We, as readers, don’t know how Dupin picks up on the information that he does, and neither does the narrator. Poe draws a parallel between the reader and the narrator because of this; furthermore, the narrator’s appreciation and admiration of Dupin’s intellect rubs off on the reader because of this parallel. Poe’s choice in narrator enhances an already thrilling detective story by making the reader see just how remarkable Dupin’s detective work really is.