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Comparison Between “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”

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Edgar Allan Poe is known for some of the most horrifying stories ever written through out time. He worked with the natural world, animals, and weather to create chilling literature. Two most notable thrillers are “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Poe was infatuated with death, disfigurement, and dark characteristics of the world. He could mix characters, setting, theme,and mood in a way that readers are automatically drawn into reading. Both of these short stories have the same major aspects in common.

The narrators in both works prove to be similar in several ways. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” the story is told through a psycho narrator; both stories contain apparent psychological imbalances within their story tellers, “ -his central character or narrator so psychologically obsessed with a mysterious phenomenon that everything in the story irresistibly revolves around it...”(May, Charles E.) There really is no motive for the murder of the old man; just his eye that he cannot stand. He repeats himself frequently, trying to assure the reader, and himself, that he is sane; leading to believe he may not be psychologically stable. In “The Cask of Amontillado” the narrator can also be considered a mad man by the way he plays games with his victim. Montressor says to Fortunato that they should go home because “his health is precious.” This conversation is ironic because Montressor does not really want to protect Fortunato's health, but to kill him in the catacombs. Both of the narrators are proud of their murders and brag about them within the stories. Not only are the narrators similar but the settings are alike once the murders take place, both locations of the victims are buried in a dark place with no escape.

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Baraban, Elena V. "The Motive for Murder in 'The Cask of Amontillado'." Rocky Mountain Review 58.2 (Fall 2004): 47-62. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Vol. 111. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.

Benton, Richard P. "The Cask of Amontillado: Overview." Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.

Chua, John. "An overview of 'The Tell-Tale Heart,'." Gale Online Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.

May, Charles E. "The Tell-Tale Heart: Overview." Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.

Valiunas, Algis. "No to Poe." Commentary 127.1 (2009): 42+. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.
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