What Makes A Good Detective

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What Makes A Good Detective


For my coursework question I am going to use three stories that we
have read in class, which are: The Purloined Letter, The Black
Brotherhood, and The One Hundred Thousand Dollar Robbery.

I am going to talk about the characteristics of the three detectives
in these stories to find out what makes a good detective.

All of the detectives in these three stories seem to have some typical
characteristics in common, such as Dupin in The Purloined Letter, he
is quite relaxed and quiet and has a good understanding of what he is
doing, which are the same characteristics that Dick Donovan has. The
detective in the Purloined Letter shares some of these characteristics
the same as Donovan and Joe. Dupin is a good thinker and uses his
common sense, which is generally needed to be a detective.

In the Black brotherhood, Dick Donovan is smug and is a thinker; you
know more about his thought processes than his physical appearance "I
know you you're a detective" this shows that people can tell he's a
detective by the way he thinks. This will have an effect on the reader
as they may be able to judge what other detectives characteristics are
like. Donovan is also a kind character, and is relaxed in what he
does, he always thinks of the unexpected, he is open minded, and
really sly.

November Joe in the Hundred-Thousand-Dollar Robbery is quite quiet and
assuming, November Joe is not very pushy and he doesn't say an awful
lot, and we can tell he is a good detective who is well organised.
November Joe is not a detective but says he's a woodsman, he isn't
brash or pushy but he uses his common sense.

In the Purloined Letter the detective seems a very confident man, has
a good knowledge of working things out which is needed in order to be
a great detective, very secretive, he is very good at solving things,
he also appears to have a good sense of humour which is a good point

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MLA Citation:
"What Makes A Good Detective." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Mar 2017

but is serious to at the same time.

In all the three stories that I have chose they are all good thinkers,
quite quiet detectives, sly, they all use their common sense. There
again on the other hand the three different detectives are quite
unique in their own way. Donovan is quite smug and proud of himself
when he discovers something. Where as the detective in the Purloined
Letter is quite a jolly man, proud of himself, has a good sense of
humour, but serious too at the same time, he's very good at solving
problems which makes him a good detective. Being able to solve
problems is a necessary point to be a detective or it would be an
advantage as a good detective should be able to think about how a
crime/incident happened or how to possibly solve a crime, therefore
common sense is often needed to make the character/detective a good

November Joe is a detective and says he's a woodsman which makes him
unique and different he isn't pushy or brash because some of the
detectives can be pushy and don't have much patience. November Joe is
characterised by having a low rough tone of voice which sets the
atmosphere of the story, as you can get a good idea of what the mood
Is in the story by the characters tone of voice, like you can get a
good idea of whether he's in a good or bad mood.

Dick Donovan has a low toned voice and sounds very serious as he
should because he's a detective. I think he speaks in a polite manner
and precise very formal and analytical. The detective in the Purloined
Letter speaks in a sort of kind tone of voice and a polite manner; he
also sounds humorous, which could influence the reader to laugh, and
it could also suggest that Donovan is a polite well mannered person
'Dupin rolls his visitor a comfortable chair 'this shows that Dupin
has got good manners.

A Present reader of the purloined letter would probably respond to as
being a kind man, an intelligent character, someone who knows what
he's doing and would seem like a modern character that you would find
in any modern detective story, as they share the same characteristics.
I found Dupin quite a quiet man, who knows how to solve hard crimes
easily and being extremely intelligent.

A person who would have read this in the past may have related the
character to a person that was of great importance like an inventor as
this was a time of great change. Dupin would have probably interested
the past reader more than the modern one because he would have been
more similar to a person who created detective stories such as Edgar
Allan Poe who was a famous man living at the time of great change.

To a present reader Dick Donovan would seem like a high standard man
who they could imagine living in either the past or the present as he
he's a good thinker and he has some characteristics of a present
detective character. A past reader would respond to Donovan as being a
clever 7and funny man a really interesting character as he's different
from other people. Detective stories were so popular at the time they
were written because this was a time of great change and, not many
people could afford to buy books, so these stories were first
published in the style of a leaflet with pictures. Many people would
read these stories as this was a new form of entertainment and nothing
like it, had been created before.

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