24 Hour Customer Service:
1-570-955-1438

Call for a quote line:
1-570-301-7456

Edgar Allan Poe and Detective Fiction Research Papers

Research papers on Edgar Allen Poe and his detective fiction have long debated the nature, quality, and extent of the influence of several of Edgar Allen Poe’s works of short fiction on the evolution of the genre now known as detective fiction.  Paper Masters writes custom research papers that explore Poe's contribution to detective fiction.

In a Poe and detective fiction research papers, you will want to:

  • Outline Poe’s contribution to the genre by presenting textual evidence, comparisons, and explanations of Poe’s unique detective-fiction formula
  • Include various critical accounts of Poe’s influence upon other writers of detection fiction. Edgar Allan Poe and Detective Fiction
  • In research papers on Poe and Detective Fiction explore Poe’s legacy as manifested in the development of later styles of detective fiction, most notably the “hard-boiled” school of detective fiction in the 1920’s. 
  • Finally, in a research paper submit an assessment of the ultimate significance of Poe’s contribution to the genre of detective fiction.

Poe as the Father of Detective Fiction

Because Edgar Allen Poe is often popularly referred to as ‘the father of detective fiction,’ many people mistakenly assume that this means Poe was the first author to write a story wherein a detective attempts to solve a baffling crime or case.  To the contrary, stories utilizing variations of these elements have appeared since at least the Victorian Era. No art form can, or should, eschew the organic process of progressive development and change. Rather, the fact that the fundamental elements of the basic formula Poe set forth in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” and “The Purloined Letter” have remained for the most part intact over the last 150 years are a testament to the importance and significance of Poe’s literary legacy.

Clearly, the evolving genre of detective fiction did not continue to duplicate in all aspects the classic model Poe originated in the Dupin stories.  Rather, detective fiction, like all types of literature and art, has naturally responded dynamically to social, political, cultural and intellectual developments in the world.  In itself, the fact that detective fiction has not remained entirely static does not nullify Poe’s substantial contribution to the genre.  No art form can, or should, eschew the organic process of progressive development and change. Rather, the fact that the fundamental elements of the basic formula Poe set forth in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” and “The Purloined Letter” have remained for the most part intact over the last 150 years are a testament to the importance and significance of Poe’s literary legacy.

Early Detective Fiction

Scholars offer convincing textual evidence of detective-fiction components appearing in a varied assortment of fiction, many of which substantially predate Poe’s work. These include:

  • Daniel Defoe’s 1722 Moll Flanders and his 1724 Roxana
  • Voltaire’s 1748 Zadig
  • William Godwin’s 1794 Caleb Williams
  • E. T. A. Hoffman’s 1819 ‘Mademoiselle de Scudery’
  • Charles Dickens’ 1840 Barnaby Ridge and his 1853 Bleak House
  • Poe collaborator and friend Wilkie Collins’ 1868 Moonstone
  • The work of the group of mid-19th century French writers known as feuilletonists all contain various forms of the fundamental elements of detective fiction. 

To take an even broader view of the issue, texts dating back to the advent of written literature involve accounts of mysterious crimes and the process of their resolution.

In what sense, then, can Edgar Allen Poe rightfully be considered the progenitor of the genre of detective fiction? Literary scholars have advanced several theories that explain how the stylistic innovations Poe made are primarily responsible for the evolution of the detective story.

Related Research Paper Topics

American Fiction essays analyze the fictional literature produced throughout American history.

Setting in Bleak House - The setting of the Charles Dickens story Bleak House is as complex as the storyline itself, as it continually changes with the various character groupings.

Symbolism in Bleak House - As one of Charles Dickens's most complex stories, Bleak House contains in its pages many different characters and subplots.

The Raven - But Edgar Allan Poe invented the modern detective fiction.

Life of Edgar Allen Poe Research Papers discuss an order placed for an autobiography of the writer along with opinions about his writings.

The Tell-Tale Heart - Edgar Allan Poe's short story, The Tell-Tale Heart begins and ends with a tone of horror.

Ligeia Research Papers look at a story by Edgar Allan Poe about a type of immortality achieved by someone who is obsessive and appears to be a little mad.

The Cask of Amontillado - Montresor, the narrator of Edgar Allan Poe's “The Cask of Amontillado” certainly would have agreed with that sentiment.

The Pit and the Pendulum - Research papers on The Pit and the Pendulum point out Edgar Allan Poe immediately grabs the reader's attention by announcing that he is sentenced to death.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allen Poe - Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym appears on the surface to be the retelling of one man's adventure at sea.

The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allan Poe is a writer that nearly every American is familiar with, encountering his work as adolescents, and being reminded of it every Halloween.

The Black Cat - The Black Cat written by Edgar Allen Poe, has been called “one of the most powerful of Poe’s stories” with a horrific element that just barely “stops short of the wavering line of disgust”. 

The Tell-Tale Heart and Madness - The Tell-Tale Heart and Madness is a common research paper topic for Edgar Allen Poe research.

Poe's Fall of the House of Usher - Poe's Fall of the House of Usher Research Papers delve into a sample of an order placed for the analysis of one of Poe's famous stories.

Gothic Literature - In America, early Gothic literature was best represented by the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

Symbolism in Literature - Symbolism in Literature term papers examine the use of symbolism in literature to convey deeper meanings in a story and to allow readers to look between the lines of a story.