What passages describe how others feel about Edmund Brimmer in Avi's The Man Who Was Poe? What passages describe the setting?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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At the start of Avi's The Man Who Was Poe, Edgar Allan Poe, calling himself Mr. Dupin, thinks that Edmund is impertinent, meaning one who is intrusive and rude. One scene in which Mr. Dupin displays his opinion is when he is asking questions of Edmund to learn all the details of Edmund's story. Edmund keeps interrupting to ask Mr. Dupin questions because Edmund feels uncomfortable. For example, when it looks like Mr. Dupin will be writing Edmund's answers down in his notebook, Edmund asks, "Is it necessary for you to write out what I say?" to which Mr. Dupin responds by saying that if Edmund wants his help, he will answer Mr. Dupin's questions (40). A few moments later, once Edmund and Mr. Dupin have made their way into the room of the building next door, Mr. Dupin orders Edmund to "search the floor," saying he needs "more proof" (45). When Edmund responds to his comment by asking, "Proof of what?," Mr. Dupin again expresses exasperation with Edmund by rhetorically asking, "Must you question everything?" (46). Every time Mr. Dupin loses his temper with Edmund, he shows he thinks Edmund is an irritating, impertinent child.

Later, Mrs. Whitman displays having a more positive opinion of Edmund. Mr. Dupin sends Edmund to Mrs. Whitman's home to deliver a letter straight to her own hands. The maid, Catherine, unwillingly admits Edmund into the home because he is so ragged and dirty; however, Mrs. Whitman forms a more favorable opinion of him upon seeing him. Her opinion is so favorable that she trusts Edmund enough to ask him if Mr. Dupin has been drinking a great deal. She then asks, "Edmund, would you trust a person who drinks?" Edmund is floored by her question because, for the first time in his life, "an adult [was] seeking his advice" (73). Her desire to seek his advice shows she has judged him to be mature and reliable for his age.

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