Poe’s Sherlock: Dupin as a Blueprint for Holmes
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Was C. Auguste Dupin used as a model for Sherlock Holmes? The stories about C. Auguste Dupin and Sherlock Holmes share many similar features so it seems that Arthur Conan Doyle has used Poe’s detective as a model for Sherlock Holmes. In college, Conan Doyle acquired medical information from his professor Joseph Bell, whose deductions baffled him at the time. It seems that Arthur Conan Doyle incorporated these deductions in his stories. Arthur Conan Doyle used Bell’s character as well; he admired how Bell used the art of deduction (Ravin, 239). He was pleased with Dupin’s way of thinking but also saw that there was room for improvement in the scientific method. This is implied in “A Study in Scarlet” (Doyle 24), when Holmes comments on C. Auguste Dupin. Conan Doyle started to combine Poe’s setup and storylines for a detective story while incorporating some traits of Joe Bell. The character of Dupin is not complete in any sense, it needed some more depth and characteristics. So Conan Doyle added these. He also added more crime solving methods than Poe had ever used, because this was possible due to new discoveries in crime solving techniques had emerged (Snyder 107). These additions did not distance Holmes too far from the stories of Dupin, since they still share many features that indicate that Holmes was indeed based on Dupin.