Discuss what role imagination plays in "The Purloined Letter." At what point do characters appear to be using (or misusing) their imaginations?

The role of imagination begins early in "The Purloined Letter" as the narrator speaks of his own active thoughts. He is, however, no match for the imaginative abilities of Dupin, who not only quickly solves the crime, but also gains monetarily and gets the better of the criminal. It could be said that Dupin misuses his imagination to profit by driving up the reward unnecessarily.

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In the opening of the story, the narrator and Dupin the detective sit in silence for an hour; during this time, the narrator has been "mentally discussing certain topics which had formed matter for conversation between us at an earlier period of the evening," indicating that he is making use of his imagination. It is clear that Dupin, however, is the smartest man in the room, and when the Prefect of Paris arrives, that remains the...

(The entire section contains 228 words.)

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