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Compare and Contrast "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe and "A Confession Found In A Prison In The Time Of Charles II" by Charles Dickens

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe and "A Confession Found In A Prison In The Time Of Charles II" by Charles Dickens We have looked at two different short stories by two different authors. The first story is called 'The Tell-Tale Heart' by Edgar Allan Poe and the second is called 'A Confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II' by Charles Dickens. I have found out that that they both have a murder theme in common. There are also other similar themes between the two poems such as early confessions. The plot in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is about a mad man that has the motive to kill an old man because of the look of his eye. We know that the mad is mad because he says on a number of occasions that he is not 'mad'. This repetitiveness shows some evidence of a degree of madness. He also claims to 'love the old man' and says that 'he has never wronged me' but still has every intension on killing him because his eye 'resembled that of a vulture'. The idea of wanting to kill, a man because his eye is like that of a vulture's eye, is not a plausible reason. This backs-up the idea that the author is mad. The man himself does not know where this idea came from, and I know this because he says 'It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain. He also confesses early to what his intensions are for the murder which is an important point to consider when comparing the two stories. In 'A Confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II' there is also a motive to kill but it's not an old man. The victim in this story is a young boy. The motive to kill is that he sees the boy's mother in the eyes of the boy. ...read more.

Middle

The plan for the murder was to watch the child's movements, before shaping with a pocket-knife 'a rough model of a boat' which when finally finished, was 'dropped in the child's way'. It was then that the narrator retired to a 'secret place.' This was intended to lure the child down to the waters edge to play with the boat, and provide the place to commit the murder. The narrator waited in his secret place for that day and the next and from 'noon till nightfall' but the boy did not make an appearance. However, on the third day the boy came 'running joyously along' and into the awaiting trap of the narrator. The watching of the victim in their sleep are similar themes in both stories. Also the waiting for hours and hours until they get what they came for are also similar themes in both 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and 'A confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II.' The tension is built in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is done by using longer sentences just before the actual murder. There is a lot of tension between lines 48-50. This is done by using one long sentence separated by many commas. The pace is then slowed down in the next couple of paragraphs and this is done by continuing the pattern of long sentences. The tension in 'A confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II' is built just as the boy passes pass the narrator in his 'secret place.' The tension continues as the narrator follows the boy down to the steam, because you are wondering when and where the action will take place. The unexpected problem that arises in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is when the narrator's 'thumb slipped upon the tin fastening.' This alerted the old man as he 'sprang up in bed, crying out - "Who's there?" ...read more.

Conclusion

The personalities of the narrators is yet another difference; in 'A confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II' the narrator is a relatively normal man with a reasonable amount of confidence and a family, but in 'The Tell-Tale Heart' the narrator is a madman and is extremely confident, smug and boastful. Throughout the story there is no evidence of family. Out of the stories that I have read and studied in detail, the one I prefer is 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' This is because it was shorter and I preferred the writing style because it was easier to read than 'A confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II.' I also preferred the narrator because he was more interesting. He was extremely mad and confident, unlike the narrator in 'A confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II' who was a normal sort of man with nothing distinctively exiting about him. I also enjoyed the build up to murder more because there was a lot more tension and it was very exiting. The idea of an eye looking like a vulture's eye as a motive for murder was interesting and quite amusing. Also in the story there were a lot of unexpected things that happened such as the lantern making a noise and waking the old man. These sorts of things along with a combination of other things made me want to read on. However, 'A confession found in a prison in the time of Charles II' did have good parts about it such as when the boy was followed down to the stream just before the murder and also the pregnancy at the beginning. The narrator was a bit boring so therefore not as good as the narrator in 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' On the whole I found it too long and difficult to read, understand and interpret. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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