The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl, The Tell Tale Heart And Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver

The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl, The Tell Tale Heart And Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver

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The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl, The Tell Tale Heart And Tony Kytes,
The Arch Deceiver

For My GCSE Wider Reading Unit (WRU) I have chosen to compare the 19th
century novel 'The Tell-Tale Heart' written in 18__ by Edgar Allan Poe
and the 20th century novel 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' by
Ray Bradbury written in 19__. I have also chosen the story 'Tony
Kytes, The Arch Deceiver' written in ____ by Thomas Hardy, to find the
contrasts between all tree stories as it doesn't share all the same
themes. 'The Tale-Tale Heart' is a Brilliant Horror, which leaves the
reader both in suspense and feeling veracious. This short story takes
us on a journey through the mind of a first time killer (Unnamed), as
we watch his conscience tear his mind state apart. 'The Fruit At The
Bottom Of The Bowl' is another great story, which I have chosen for
comparing because it is very similar to 'The Tale-Tale Heart' in the
sense that they both explore the theme of 'madness'. 'The Fruit At The
Bottom Of The Bowl' is also about a murderer (named William Acton) who
has been committed a murder on allegations that his wife is going to
run away with the victim (D. Huxley), and the word 'murder' could be
argued as another one of the key themes of both stories. Ray Bradbury
gives us insight on the extents the killer goes through to leave no
trace of his presence while his conscience takes control. Despite
being murderers, both killers are portrayed as perfectly sane before
the killing and then after this evil deed is committed the descent
into madness. I believe the most obvious similarity between both texts
is both of the murderers conscience. From reading both texts I would
have no doubts in arguing that both killers consciences are a form of
insanity. As we watch this insane bearing mind player eat at the
malefactors, its after affects leave both of them in a state of
'obsession'. I say this because the murderer from 'The Tale-Tale
Heart' is a man, who becomes obsessed with the sound of his victim's
still-beating heart. Edgar Allan Poe uses this obsession for the main
build up at the end, when the murderers insanity gets more and more
intense. The killer from 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' has the
same problem, but with clearing his fingerprints from anything he
might have touched. Ray Bradbury uses flashback to remind Acton of
things he may have touched and to feed his obsession. During the
flashbacks Ray Bradbury doesn't describe the murder in graphic detail

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but focuses on the build up of what happens afterwards. Unlike some
predecessors of this genre, both stories main build up of suspense lie
after the murder instead of leading up to the murder. The police
arrive in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' due to a concerned phone call and
after almost getting away with this evil crime, in the end the murder
confesses to his slaughter of the old man. The killer in 'The Fruit At
The Bottom Of The Bowl' is found by the police in the victim's attic.

Acton at this point is at his greatest obsession and if he wasn't
affected so bad by his conscience would have left earlier and might
have got away with it. Both stories show people who are driven to acts
of unspeakable horror by the dark fantasies that haunt them. 'Tony
Kytes, The Arch Deceiver' is a hilarious story and slightly different.
Unlike the other two it doesn't share the theme of murder. However
even though it isn't driven by the mind playing conscience Tony Kytes
also suffers from 'obsession', the obsession of woman. Tony Kytes is
about a man engaged to his latest lover, but is still entranced by two
of his previous lovers who are described to be more stunning than his
fiancée. Tony Kytes meets them one by one on his way home from work by
accident, but because all want to ride with him he has to hide the
previous one in the cart he drives using horses. Each girl that goes
for a ride, Tony Kytes promises to marry. But his plan is foiled when
his father turns up and he is forced leave the reigns in the hands of
an inexperienced driver (one of his ex-lovers). Unable to control the
horses, his ex-lover crashes the cart revealing all three girls to see
each other. Tony Kytes ends up marrying his fiancée but through
studying the text, he really wanted one of the other two ladies. The
Plot of the 'The Tale-Tale Heart' is very bizarre. The unnamed
murderer is disgusted by the old man's eye and this is one of the
points that drives the murderers will to kill.

The killer in 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' is driven by his
love for his wife, but his obsession gets the better of him until he
is surely going to get caught. Tony Kytes seems to be more realistic
out of the three stories, but 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' is
also more believable than 'The Tale-Tale Heart'.

'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' goes into the theory of the
subconscious. '...(But, after all, he hadn't planned a murder, and his
subconscious, which may have known of the crime before its commitment,
had not even hinted he might need gloves before the night is
finished)' The murderer at this point has realised at this point that
maybe this murder was planned. The theory of the subconscious was not
really introduced until after 1914 but I believe Edgar Allan Poe may
have accidentally or even purposely stumbled on something. In 'The
Tale-Tale Heart' the unnamed murderer stalks his victim every night at
exactly twelve midnight as if to check up on him. It could be argued
that each night the murderer secretly stalked the old man, he was
subconsciously planning his evil murder and how to do it silently. I
have researched a bit on the theory of the subconscious and have
retrieved this quote from Charles E. Henderson, Ph.D.

'Consciousness is said to be the part of the mind we think we think
with. It comprises only a small part of the total mind, and in many
ways it is the least significant part. The subconscious, on the other
hand, is really running the show most of the time. This position is
manifest in almost everything we do.

The argument is easy to make and is overwhelmingly persuasive (except
to those who are determined not to believe it). Consider this: If you
truly ruled your life with the conscious part of your mind, you
probably would not be reading this now. You would be a person who does
only those things he consciously decided to do. You would have no
problem resisting anything; nothing would be too much of a temptation
for you. You would have no mental blocks, you would not dream, and you
would have unbelievable concentration and memory.'

Characters alone in a story can be very revealing. The physical
appearance, the way they act or even their name could tell more about
the story than if we just simply read it. For example; 'The Tell-Tale
Heart' contains nameless narrator, which may have been used because a
murder is very mysterious and unless caught no one will actually know
who the murderer is. Thinking about that point, it makes the first
person narrative seem more realistic because it makes me feel as if I
am really at the scene of the crime, as it is happening. The
protagonist or narrator becomes the true focus of the tale. This
narrator may be male or female because Poe uses only "I" and "me" in
reference to this character. Most readers assume that the narrator is
a male because of a male author using a first person point of view;
however, this story can also be plausible when the deranged
protagonist appears as a woman. Most critics would argue this point by
saying that Poe would "assume" that the reader would "know" that the
protagonist was male, therefore, he would see no need to identify his
sexless narrator. However, Poe was said to be a perfectionist who left
very little to guesswork. Could it be that this was no accident or
something that he thought would be universally understood? But that
Poe was creating a story whose impact could be changed simply by
imagining this horrendous and vile deed being committed by a woman.

Like 'The Tell-Tale Heart' the victim in 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of
The Bowl' knew his killer. But unlike it, we are told the murderers
full name and his motives. Looking at this difference, I could argue
that one of the points why 'The Tell-Tale Heart' killer may not be
named is because the victim may not have been able to make out this
fatal assassin. Whereas because the victim in 'The Fruit At The Bottom
Of The Bowl' saw who his murderer was, this may be the reason why we
are given his name. The Tell-Tale Heart' murderer describes the old
man's eye to us by saying, 'One of his eyes resembled that if a
vulture.' This quote makes me see into what the murderer is feeling a
bit more. The killer sees this eye as evil, which therefore seems to
make his victim evil. The belief in the evil eye dates back to ancient
times and even today, is fairly common in India and the countries
bordering the Mediterranean Sea. References are made to it in Jewish,
Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu faiths. The belief centres around the idea
that those who possess the evil eye have the power to harm people or
their possessions by merely looking at them. Wherever this belief
exists, it is common to assign the evil eye as the cause of
unexplainable illnesses and misfortunes of any kind. The description
of D.Huxley in 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' is very detailed
and tells us a bit more about him in general and so does the
description of Tony Kytes. Looking at the killers actions and his
thought that he is not going mad in 'The Tell-Tale Heart', I think
that it is reasonable to say that he is an unreliable narrator. I feel
this because he seems very confused and has a lot to learn. I have
also noticed in the story 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' the
characters refer to each other by their sir names. This could be
because at the time this story was written, people spoke in a very
formal way. But I also think it was used to show that they are not
friends to be calling each other by first names, which shows how much
respect they have for each other.

'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' is described in a third person
narrative. A third person narrative is when we are given an account in
of what occurred in a situation. This account should hopefully be less
biased as it is not given to us from the principal character's
perspective (the main character). This means we are given an
independent view from someone else who may or not have been there. But
I think 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl' may be in some ways
biased because the only people at the scene of the crime was Huxley
and Acton. Since Huxley is dead, for anybody to know what happened the
information would have to come from Acton. So this independent view we
experience would still have a lot of Acton's perspective being told. '

"Oh!" cried Huxley, fending him off. He gave Acton a shove as they
struggled.' This is what I would call a perfect example of a third
person narrative. Not only does it show that it's not Acton telling
the story, it tells us that Huxley is not telling the story. Both
characters are described using their 'names', and 'they' instead of
'I'. They are described in the view of a narrator or storyteller who
is unnamed. 'Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver' is also a third person
narrative whose storyteller is not named but we are told his
occupation (a carrier). My next quote proves the story is told by the
carrier and also backs up my theory of third person narrative. 'But in
course of time Tony got fixed down to one in particular' (fixed down
means tied down or engaged). 'The Tale-Tale Heart' is unlike the other
to stories in the way that it is presented in first person narrative.
First person narrative basically means the story is being described by
a character. Using words like 'I', 'myself' or 'me'. The murderer is
the person using first person narrative. This could be argued to be an
advantage in a way because we are able to get a more detailed
description of the characters experiences and feelings. This account
provides a secret view into the personal and distinctive emotions from
the character. A good quote to show us this is 'True - nervous - very,
very nervous I had been and am'. This quote from the text also backs
up what I have written about first person narrative. I think the most
apparent and useful form of perspective would be the first person
narrative, especially in the 'Tell Tale Heart'. This emphasises true
feelings and emotions of madness through the character involved. There
is not as much detail in description outside of the murderers mind but
I think Edgar Allan Poe done this on purpose to focus on the feelings
and madness of the murderer. Although this singular opinion is
brilliant for telling us the feelings of the murderer, the third
person provides a better external view, but no genuine individual
feelings of the characters.

'Acton stood a long time feeling the red heart beat inside his shut
eyes, within his head....he looked at the new fresh wall straight
ahead of him and finally got courage to speak. "Silly," he said. "That
wall's flawless. I won't touch it. Got to hurry. Got to hurry. Time,
Time." '. This extract from 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl'
shows how large Actons obsession has grown. He looks for fingerprints
on walls that he most probably has never touched and his reference to
time shows that he knows if he stays to long he will get caught. This
time reference builds tension and builds a certain mood as our
suspense makes us wonder will he leave in time. Ray Bradbury uses a
lot of punctuation to help us feel how scared and worried the killer
actually is. The mood or atmosphere in 'The Tale-Tale Heart' can be
described as very spooky and mysterious. Every night the murderer
plagues his victim, building suspense as he takes step by step
precautions while entering the room. These to stories atmospheres both
have a horror feel to it, where as Tony Kytes is quite different. The
main suspense is built up by the thought of Tony Kytes being caught.
The mood becomes tense once all three ladies are inside the cart.

My favourite out of the tree short-story has to be 'The Tell-Tale
Heart'. This was because it was extremely effective in giving an
excellent view of insanity and madness through the eyes, actions and
thoughts of a first time murderer. This story for me kept me most in
suspense and wanting to read more. However the other stories were very
good as well especially 'The Fruit At The Bottom Of The Bowl. I felt
sorry for Acton because his obsession got the better of him. He was
unaware of his actions and, I suppose, this is the cause of insanity,
not knowing what you are doing. I have learnt about the omniscient
skills writers use to adopt masks as if to hide what they think, and
let you make up your own mind. Each writer is very skilled and I hope
to read more of their work.
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