mayllt
what does "had its limits"here mean? After the search, the cops hadn’t bothered to replace the dust sheets, so they lay in white piles like snowdrifts over the floor. “If I were an obsessed treasure hunter, what would I be looking for up here?” Not the treasure itself, Eli decided. “The Purloined Letter” aside, hiding in plain sight had its limits. No one could believe any of the previous occupants would have tucked a chest full of jewels away within the saggy divan or behind the spotty mirror. He wandered around, poking into boxes and trunks, tossing dust covers back over chairs. The light streamed in so motes danced in beams, and the silence of the house accented the toss and suck of the surf.I think "the Purloined Letter" here implys to Edgar Allan Poe's short story, doesn't it?
Jul 3, 2015 5:07 AM
Answers · 3
If something 'has its limits' it means that it isn't effective or useful in all cases. Although 'hiding in plain sight' worked as a strategy in Poe's story 'The Purloined Letter', in fact it doesn't always work, or it only works to a limited extent.
July 3, 2015
Yes, that's the reference. In the story a compromising letter is "hidden in plain sight" by appearing to be a completely different letter. Eli thinks that technique has its limits -- there are constraints on its usefulness. He thinks a treasure chest is too large or too ostentatious to "hide" where anyone could see it but at the same time fail to realize what it really is. Therefore the treasure hunter must have been looking for something other than the treasure itself.
July 3, 2015
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mayllt
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English, French