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Compare and contrast The Purloined Letter and The Black Cat

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Introduction

Compare and contrast "The Purloined Letter" and "The Black Cat" In this essay I will be comparing the two short stories, 'The Purloined Letter' & 'The Black Cat'. The Purloined Letter is about a detective (Dupin) who is asked by the Parisian Police prefect over a Purloined Letter. An eminent minister has stolen an important letter and it contains information that can be dangerous for an important individual. No one can find the letter even though knowing who has it. Dupin has had past history with the minister, the motivation to get revenge and also Dupin's superior intelligence helps Dupin to recover the letter. On the other hand The Black Cat has a totally different story line. The Black Cat is about the narrators downfall into madness and murderous violence, his love for animals changing into hate, which is all fuelled by alcoholism. After the narrator murders his cat, he has a lot of guilt on his shoulders. Having so much guilt he finally finds a replacement cat, which looks similar to his old cat but has a spooky factor to it. The spooky cat is the result of the narrator's downfall at the end, when he ends up murdering his wife. The spooky cat gets its revenge when the police, for the murder of his wife, catch the narrator. The two stories, which have hardly anything in common story wise, have some similarities in some aspects of the stories. ...read more.

Middle

The sentences are also long, to make the story more slower and mysterious. The Black Cat has no language techniques except the use of syntax, which is also the only similarity between The Black Cat and The Purloined Letter. The Purloined Letter uses syntax such as, meditation, examine, puzzled etc. Language like this gives the story it's mysterious and detective type feel. The Black Cat uses syntax such as torture, corpse, and evil etc. These describe the murderous violent and horror of the story. The language is also used in a way to represent the genre of the story, in which case both of the stories have different genres. The Black Cat has is made up of four different types of genres. Such as suspense, mystery, horror and thriller. The Purloined Letter is made up of three different types of genres, which include mystery, intellectual mystery, detective fiction (classic). There is nothing in common with the genres of both of the stories except that they both contain some aspects of mystery. The pace of The Purloined Letter is slow but builds up at the end to give the story a dramatic effect. It's got long descriptive paragraphs to make the story slow and deliberate. Whilst The Black Cat has a pace that could be compared to a roller coaster ride, as it has staccato sentences, which make it, heart pumping. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Cat is the central image of the story and one of the main characters. The characteristics of the Cat signify death and vengeance. Also this character is the reason for the downfall of the Narrator. The Narrator is actually telling the story through first person. He narrates the story trough his eyes. The narrator is someone that has dynamic changes. From a pet lover and a kind person to an alcoholic who is just plainly insane. The last character, the Wife is the opposite of the Narrator. While the narrator is evil and insane, the Wife is kind and gentle, but is also a victim of the narrator's murderous ways. The characters in The Purloined Letter all each have a characteristic, which builds up the detective type story, which is mostly about mystery. On the other hand The Black Cats characters give the story a more disturbing and haunting vibe. There are no real similarities between any of the two stories characters. Except maybe the mysteriousness of the Cat could be compared to Dupin's mysteriousness. Also both of these characters have vengeance on their minds. I think that both stories are good, but do not hold hardly any major similarities between each other. This is probably because The Black Cat is a horror and a faster paced story, while The Purloined Letter is more slow and intellectual. Maybe the only main things that are in both stories and are similar is probably the mystery in both of the stories and the thirst for revenge. Fahad Younas ...read more.

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