In The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl by Ray Bradbury and The Tell

In The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl by Ray Bradbury and The Tell

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In The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl by Ray Bradbury and The Tell
Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe both authors have to convince the
reader that the main character is mad. How do they do that? Which
portrayal is more effective? Why?

This essay will explore which madman is portrayed the best. Both
stories deal with an obsession and a madness of some sort. In ' The
Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' by Ray Bradbury the main character is
William Action who frantically cleans trying to cover up the murder.
Not knowing he is going mad. In ' The Tell Tale Heart' the man has an
obsession with his masters eye, which drives him mad but he does not
believe himself that he is mad.

In 'The Tell Tale Heart' the characters motive is his masters
"vulture's eye" which is shown by saying " I think it was his eye!
Yes, it was this! Also when he says " One of his eyes resembled that
of a vulture.

In 'The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" the characters motive is that
his wife is having an affair this is shown by the character saying, "
Where's my wife, Huxley? " and " I need one. I can't believe Lily's
gone that she-". The first characters motive suggests madness because
why would you want to kill a man just because of his eye. The second
one stands to reason because if you find out your wife was having an
affair the first thing you would want to do is kill the other person

In ' The Tell Tale Heart' the narration is first person, so that the
readers can put themselves there, the character addresses them
directly, It also give you an insight into the characters most inner
thoughts and feelings.

In ' Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl ' the narration is third person
with stream of consciousness. This allows you to feel as thought you
are watching the events unfold and that you become omnipotent. The
narration method of ' The Tell Tale Heart' is more effective and
convinces the reader of the main characters madness because you can
tell the characters most inner thoughts and feelings as he addresses
you unlike ' Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl ' which only shows you
the actions and doesn't give you an insight to his mental well being.

In 'Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl ' the characters attitude to the
dead body and crime is one of calmness, although he was still
conscious that his actions could be traced via his fingertips on the

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objects around the house. One example of this is " He looked at his
fingers and he looked at the large room around him" showing his
consciousness. The character then goes through these stages, he
becomes frantic, starts having flashbacks and becomes frantic some
examples of this are "The fingerprints were everywhere, everywhere!"
and " Yes touch it handle it" which shows that he is going mad because
people would not be fussed what they touched they would just want to
get away. The character has little short conversations with himself
which reflect his madness because in every little conversation he
reminds himself of the finger prints as if it was an obsession one
example of this is "Yes fetch it Handle it Touch it. He did". The
character also has flashbacks of conversations with his victim it
reveals his true character because you find out that he is not some
all mighty killer and deep down inside that he is now regretting his
actions and trying to cover up all sources that lead to him then the
franticness occurs when he tries to get rid of his finger prints which
is a near impossible task. The use of italics to emphasise his
obsessiveness is used I think to make them stand out so that you can
see the madness developing because he has a tendency to put words to
do with fingers in italics. The writer list the verbs separated by
commas once again shows the characters flashback to what he had done
and what his finger prints might be on and it shows madness when he
says " The wall! " because you just don't suddenly shout out the wall
and paranoia is setting in. The use of repition once again emphasises
his franticness because he often repeats words to remind himself that
he has touched something and left his fingerprints there he often
repeats " Handle it, Go Ahead, Pick it up." The character then start
to have progressively more illogical actions, he starts cleaning
inanimate objects such as the wall and the stair banister which again
shows his madness because he becomes obsessed with fingerprints. The
last sentence ' In triumph' is ironic because how could it all be in
triumph because he has done all that hard work of cleaning and still
got caught. In ' the Tell Tale Heart' the character often addresses
the read directly which is a good idea because it shows his
progressive madness and gives you an incite into his thoughts and
feelings, unlike in 'Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' where the reader
is rarely addressed, Also in 'The Tell Tale Heart' the characters
actions are less frantic and are more cold and calculate and more
closely planned even thought he is mad, unlike the characters actions
in ' Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' which are more frantic and show
more signs of madness. The characters attitude to the crime in ' The
Tell Tale Heart' first of all is one of triumph, which then turns to
paranoia when the heart beat sound starts. The heart beat sound is yet
another sign of madness. In ' Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' the
character is unease with what he has done from the start and is a
frail character constantly throught the story and is found a trembling
wreck in the attic. The use of repition in 'The Tell Tale Heart' is I
think to show how careful the characters actions were one example of
this is " I moved in slowly - very, very slowly" unlike in 'The Fruit
at the Bottom of the Bowl" where repition is used throught to emphasis
the characters frantic motions and obsession with his actions and what
he had touched. There is only one use of italics in ' The Tell Tale
Heart ' is where he says " All in Vain " this suggested that the man
couldn't have done anything because death was coming for him, also
that if he had it would have been all in vain. In contrast in ' The
Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' there are lots of use of italics to
emphasise the characters frantic actions and to refer to is obsession
with finger prints and touching things one example of this is "Feel of
it". In ' The Tell Tale Heart' there are a lot of rhetorical questions
which show the characters developing signs of madness this also the
same in ' Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' both characters ask
rhetorical both of their question are very frantic which is another
symptom of madness it seems. In ' The Tell Tale Heart' there is a lot
of direct speech between the policeman and the character until he
finally cracks because the sound of the so called heart beat which may
be in his head finally gets to him there is also a lot of repition and
exclamation marks in the final speech. Unlike ' Fruit at the Bottom of
the Bowl ' were there is no final speech as such just one word ' Done'
to say that it was all over but it wasn't because he had been caught
and all his work was in vain. 'The Tell Tale Heart ' uses a lot of
exclamation marks at the beginning to show his developing signs of
madness then lots at the end to show that he has finally gone mad
unlike 'Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' which doesn't use exclamation
marks to suggest the character is calm and collected but he is far
from that. 'Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl' uses lots of short sharp
sentences so that you take it all in unlike the 'Tell Tale Heart'
which is just one big dialogue between the character and his mind
without giving you time to take it all in. The ''Fruit at the Bottom
of the Bowl' story gives the better portrayal of the madman because
you get to see the actions of a madman which would be very frantic if
you had killed someone, also it shows you that he has an obsession and
is found a quivering wreck in the attic after getting so worried.
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