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Headscratchers / Edgar Allan Poe

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  • When is C. Auguste Dupin going to get his film adaptation? Hollywood is long overdue for giving Sherlock Holmes' predecessor some credit.
    • In fairness, Dupin is a less cinematic than Holmes. And "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is the only mystery that involves much physical action; "The Purloined Letter" has minimal action and "The Mystery of Marie Roget" has absolutely none, being no more than Dupin staring at newspapers and making educated guesses. Note also that Dupin is not described physically in the tales, because Poe wanted to stress that he is essentially pure intellect. It could be argued that a video adaptation of Dupin would be the nec plus ultra of Misaimed Fandom. And there are, of course, far fewer source tales to use in the first place. You'd essentally have to write entirely new material to make Dupin a film character.
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    • True, but they created an entirely new villain and new plot for the 2009 Holmes film. With the right actors, great music, It Will Never Catch On jokes, and nice helpings of Dupin/No Name Given sidekick Ho Yay, you could make a really entertaining adaptation of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (the murderer is an orangutan — how much better can it get?) and easily add some more action to it. They could make the "murderer" more violent when they catch up to it for a good (if weird, therefore even better) fight scene, and even make him the creative weapon of a particularly devious villain, which would not be far off for an author whose characters could kill with, for example, a poisoned candle. "The Purloined Letter" could be used in the first act to show off Dupin's genius. Not that they would want to skip over Dupin and his Watson meeting and moving in together — Dupin would provide time for some origin story that there's rarely any room for in Sherlock Holmes adaptations.
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    • In all likelyhood, he'd be dismissed as a Sherlock Homes ripoff by a public that doesn't know any better.
    • Holmes is far more interesting and a more defined character than Dupin. Even though Dupin debuted over half a century earlier, he reads as a much shallower version of Holmes.
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    • Still would leave you with the problem of people thinking that Dupin was just a rip-off of Holmes, not caring that Dupin came first. Like others said, Dupin wasn't exactly the Deadpan Snarker, action-y hero as Holmes was.
    • Considering the Case Dupin actually solved, how do you make a movie where an Orangutan goes into a mansion, kills two people in a violent stupor, and then some no-named nobody comes along and says "No witness can tell what language it was speaking? Orangutang!"? It's too insane to be put onto film.
    • There are several adaptations of Murders in the Rue Morgue, including one with Bela Lugosi, to be corrected. Problem is, they're not very succesful as not very much people know him. Hollywood currently is obsessed with brand recognition and will hardly risk to use a not well known character. On the other hand the tendency of turning everthing into an action film is kind of a problem too, it does works with Holmes granting them on that, but it was a failure when using for example Dracula (Untold), Victor Frankenstein and the Frankenstein monster as all those movies flopped, as Van Hellsing and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen did. So, some literary characters really don't work as action characters, and Hollywood is not risky enough nowadays to do something that is not action packed unless is an Oscar Bait drama or a romantic comedy.
  • In the Pit and the Pendulum, er, can someone explain exactly what was going on? At first it seemed like the narrator was free to wander his cell, but then towards the climax, he's suddenly strapped to a slab of wood for the titular pendulum to come down. Did someone put him on there in a brief timeskip?
    • The narrator initially was free to walk around his cell; later he fainted and awoke on the slab, finding himself strapped down and facing the descending pendulum.
    • It was the Spanish Inquesition... In the 1800s... No one expected them...
  • In The Tell-Tale Heart, was the old man's heart literally beating, or was it his own heart that he mistook for the old man's?
    • He will never know -- and neither will we.
      • It could also be possible that the heartbeat was all in the narrator's head, like maybe his sanity was slipping, or that his guilt was getting to him.
      • Just as his mad fear of the old man's evil eye, the beating heart was most likely just in his head.
      • Some people speculate it was a type of Beetle, thought to be a harbinger of death, that was making the noise the Main Character was hearing. If the Main Character actually has acute hearing...
  • This one is about Poe's personal life: Why was his wife listed as 21 years old at the time of their marriage? Was there a legal marriageable age back then? But even if there was, it can't have been more than 16 since marriage at 16 wasn't uncommon for girls at the time. So even if they felt the necessity for aging her up at all (whether for legal reasons or in order to make the whole affair seem more normal), what was the point of aging the 13-year-old Virginia all the way up to 21? Why not simply say she's 16? What was the purpose of that?
    • Apparently, although for the most part marriageable age for girls could be as low as 12 in the Western world, marriageable age without her guardians' consent was 21 (at least in the 19th century England), and there's evidence to show some members of Virginia's family (namely, her half sister's husband) were opposed to her getting married that young, so if the laws were similar in America, that might be that.
  • In The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrators are so proud of how well they've hidden the corpses...but what were they planning to do once those bodies started to stink?
    • Blame it on something else?
    • The Tell-Tale narrator at least is probably too insane to think that far ahead.
    • Both narrators were hiding the body just before the police came to investigate. There's no reason to think they intended for the bodies to stay there. Presumably they would wait until the police were gone, then exhume the body and find another place to bury it.
  • If Roderick Usher's senses were as hypersensitive as he claimed they were, why couldn't he tell the difference between an unconscious woman and a dead one? If he could hear a scratching sound through wood, stone, and several dozen yards of walls and corridors, why couldn't he hear that his own sister's heart was still beating, however slowly, when he was standing right beside her?
    • This is why some readers believe that Roderick actually wanted his sister dead for some reason and only started regretting his actions when he realised that she'd got out of the coffin.
    • Honestly, it's figured he was actually in denial that she could really be alive but the idea of him wanting her dead starts to make sense.
      • Additionally, the family has never had more than one member of a generation survive and Roderick is specifically noted as buying into his family's superstitions. Maybe he thought that one of them had to die for the other to live. An interpretation was that he had been poisoning or hurting her somehow (hence how strange her illness appeared to doctors), and burying her was his final attempt to keep anyone from figuring it out. She was able to get out of the coffin because after he left her alone she got some strength and willpower back.