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Compare and Contrast Two Short Stories From Different Time Periods, But From the Same Genre

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast two short stories from different time periods, But from the same genre In this essay I will compare the pre 20th Century text "The Black Cat" (1843) by Edgar Allen Poe and the post 20th Century text "Hell's Event" (1984) by Clive Barker both of which are horror stories. Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston, USA in 1809. He had a brother, Henry, and a sister, Rosaline. In December of 1812 the children were orphaned and the family was split up. Henry stayed in Baltimore with his grandparents. Edgar and Rosaline Poe were taken in by wealthy Richmond families, Rosaline by the Mackenzies and Edgar by the Allans. In 1827 prior to enlisting in the army Edgar wrote his first two poems known as "To Margaret" and "To Octavia". By 1833 Edgar had begun to write stories and in 1835 he married his cousin, Virginia but she died 12 years later. On 7 October 1849 at about 4.30pm Poe died. The actual cause of death at the relatively young age of 40 has never been confirmed. Poe was buried in his grandfather's lot in the Westminster burying ground. Throughout his life Poe had been victimised and taken advantage of and I think this may have influenced some of his texts. Clive Barker was born near Penny Lane, Liverpool in 1952. ...read more.

Middle

the fact that Burgess is a bad and un-sympathetic character, a good character would be very unlikely to wear this sort of coat. Clive Barker has tried to make burgess more horrifying by describing the coat in detail, he says 'He wore a coat apparently made of several goat-skins. The hooves and the horns still hung from it. The blood on its fur was brown and gummy." On page forty-five about halfway through the story Burgess admits that he works for hell. The very fact that he works for hell will tell the reader that he is an evil character. Although Burgess is an evil character some of the things Barker writes, which Burgess says are quite witty and funny. In The black cat there are also three main protagonists The two cats and the man who tells the story, which is told in first person whereas Hells Event is written in third person. You never actually learn of the mans name, so for the purpose of this essay I will refer to him simply as 'The man'. Also you never learn of the second cats name and so I will refer to him as 'The cat'. The man who tells the story is a good character at the beginning, but as the story goes on he gets more ill tempered and violent until at the end of the story he is a violent character. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example in the 1800s Poe used 'I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife.' Which means the man swore at his wife, but in Hells Event barker just simply uses the actual words, which express his characters feelings more, for example, "Shit, said Cameron as he was plunged into darkness." Shorter words are now used instead of longer more difficult ones like intoxicated which means drunk and felons cell, which means prison. There is no open speech in The Black Cat; instead there is reported speech. In this story there are lots of things that would not be written today, e.g. 'Pluto - this was the cats name - was my favourite pet.' Would be written today as 'Pluto (this was the cats name) was my favourite pet.' I preferred hells event to The Black Cat because there was a bit more detail which made it more horrific, like the part where Joel is killed, 'Joel felt the last of his strength falter: his arm could keep the mouth at bay no longer. Despairing, he felt the teeth at his brow and at his chin, felt them pierce his flesh and his bone, felt, finally, the white night evade him, as the mouth bit off his face.' Also The Black Cat is harder to read because a lot of words in it are no longer used. Both story's were good and I like the horror genre in general anyway so I enjoyed reading the story's. By James Barker-Grimshaw ...read more.

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