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Contrasting Old Mother Savage and The Tell-Tale Heart

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Contrasting Old Mother Savage and The Tell-Tale Heart

Writers may use different techniques to get the same effect out of the audience. In the short story, "Old Mother Savage" by Guy Du Maupassant, a tragic story of a woman who losses everything is told. The story is scary in that it has an ending that one would not expect. Also, it can be looked at as a sad story because the mother seems to be sad throughout the entire story. At the end the only thing that she has to be satisfied about is that her murdering four young men can make other women feel how she felt when she found out about the death of her son. This story can be compared to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart", when you talk about the strategies that both authors use to make the audience frightened. They both describe scenes in full detail to give the effect of disgust. However, Du Maupassant, makes the audience feel sorry for the mother in this story turning it into a tragedy instead of horror.

The story starts out with two men walking through a forest. One of the men recognizes an abandoned house. The house is described as "...a skeleton still standing, yet ruined and sinister" (Du Maupassant, 1). The speaker asks the man he is walking with what happened to the people who lived in it. The other starts explaining that the father was killed and that during the war, the son was sent to fight leaving the mother by herself. It was said that no one bothered her since everyone in the town thought she had money. It was said that she hardly ever laughed, but that was normal for women of that time: "The women suffer with sad and restricted souls, their life being solemn and hard" (Du Maupassant, 2). With this thought in mind it seems as if the peopl...

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...t the woman as being a hero. She is what we consider a "good guy" not because she has killed innocent people, but because she has taken charge of a situation, which is out of the ordinary for women to do. This is a far contrast from Poes' ending. In his story the speaker confesses to killing the old man because the mans' heart, which at that point the reader knows is the speakers conscious is annoying him. At the end of his story the audience is glad that the speaker is caught.

Both "Old Mother Savage", by Guy Du Maupassant and "The Tell-Tale Heart", by Edgar Allen Poe, offer a look into the other side of tragedies. In both we get to see the reasoning behind the killings of innocent people. The difference between the two is in one case the audience is left feeling sad for the killer, while in the other we are glad that justice is served.
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