Compare And Contrast The Yellow Wallpaper And Cask Of Amontillado

analytical Essay
1420 words
1420 words

Charlotte Perkins Gillman and Edgar Allen Poe are both well-known and greatly respected writers in history with similar, but unique writing styles. They both use an unreliable narrator to mislead the reader, but slowly drop hints that something is a little off. In Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper she tells a story narrated by a woman in the late 19th century who has been ordered to get as much rest as possible because of her “temporary nervous depression.” As the story progresses, she starts to slowly lose her sanity from being condemned in her room for so long, and eventually develops a scary obsession with the wallpaper. Poe’s short story, the Cask of Amontillado, is narrated by an Italian man named Montresor who has vowed to get revenge for …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Compares the writing styles of charlotte perkins gillman and edgar allen poe. both use an unreliable narrator to mislead the reader, but slowly drop hints that something is off.
  • Analyzes how the narrator's eventual insanity is greatly influenced by how she feels about all her mistreatments up to that point.
  • Analyzes montresor's insanity in the cask of amontillado. he is intelligent, conniving, and extremely sinister.
  • Analyzes how gilman's narrator exhibits creepier insanity, similar to what you would expect to find in a straitjacket.
  • Analyzes how montresor's lack of sanity affects the development of the story.
  • Concludes that poe and gilman created two narrators who accomplish the same goal, to entertain the reader.

In the Cask of Amontillado, our narrator’s situation is one he is quite happy being in. Our narrator is Montresor, an Italian man rich with pride, and you quickly learn through his narration that he is intelligent, conniving, and extremely sinister. Throughout the story, everything Montresor does is motivated by one thing, his own thirst for vengeance. Montresor explains his actions are a result of Fortunato constantly abusing him and finally going too far, but he never explains anything Fortunato has done to insult him. When we meet Fortunato, he is extremely friendly towards Montresor, albeit a little intoxicated, so much that he makes Montresor’s story of “a thousand injuries” seem unbelievable (Cask 1). Compared to Gilman’s narrator whose spiral out of control was triggered by her forced seclusion from the outside world, it seems that Montresor’s insanity come from inside his own head. There is no evidence that suggest any attempts by Fortunato to belittle or insult Montresor in any way. I believe that Montresor may have been jealous of Fortunato’s success in life, and that is what drove him to vengeance. For example, on their way to the catacombs Fortunato makes a hand gesture of the Masons, a secret brotherhood, which Montresor doesn’t understand. Fortunato ask if Montresor is a Mason and for him to prove it, and Montresor lies and shows his trowel (Cask 5). This proves that …show more content…

Gilman’s narrator exhibits a creepier kind of insanity, more like what you would expect to find in a straitjacket somewhere. A prime example comes after the narrator has completely lost her mind, and begins “creeping” around her room. “But here I can creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall, so I cannot lose my way.(Yellow 19)” The narrator unknowingly has become the very thing she has been trying to get away from inside of the wallpaper. Because of how the story is written, Gilman’s narrator is able to give us first hand experiences as she loses her sanity. These are extremely useful for the narrator’s claims that there is someone else in the room with her. On multiple occasions the narrator insist that someone else has been damaging the walls, biting the bed, and even hiding from her. This is extremely different than the type of insanity Montresor shows. Montresor’s insanity is comparable to an evil genius like Hitler or Darth Vader. The way he maniacally plans out everything, and even offers Fortunato chances to turn around is disturbing. Equally as disturbing is his lack of remorse after killing one of his friends. As he places the last stone he says “My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so”(Cask 7). Not only did he not feel the least bit sorry, he was actually proud

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