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Edgar Allen Poe

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Introduction

In the two short texts The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell Tale Heart written by Edgar Allan Poe, the important settings are where both of the victims are entrapped and also the time midnight, which is also when both of the murders are committed. This was important because Poe wanted to show the readers the fascination of 19th century's phobia of being buried alive and the horror of the darkness which contributes to the gothic nature of these stories. The Cask of Amontillado is set in an unnamed European city and about Montresor, the narrator taking a deadly revenge on his friend Fortunato who he claimed to have insulted him. The Tell Tale heart is told from an unnamed narrator point of view, who insists on his sanity after murdering an old man with a 'vulture eye'. In the Cask of Amontillado, the story began at around dusk during a carnival season. ...read more.

Middle

And through the use of first person narration in both stories, the readers see the twisted logic of the killers which revealed their insanity. Although the readers have doubts about the narrator, they are also intrigued at this insight of a madman. 'First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs...took up three planks from the flooring...and deposited... ' This apathetic tone of describing grotesque acts showed the readers that the narrator has no empathy; he is removed from the acts and is a cold blooded killer. From these two stylistic techniques used by Poe, the readers can see the notion of madness of the mind. The narrator was psychotic and disturbed, he believed he was 'vexed' by the evil eye and eventually lost his grip on reality. Poe's based both of these stories around the time at midnight, the 'witching hour'. ...read more.

Conclusion

He kept hearing a distinctive ringing in his ear which leaded him to his confession. 'Tear up the planks...it is the beating of his hideous heart.' This showed the notion of being buried alive as he believed the old man was still alive, with his heart beating underneath the floorboard. In conclusion, the important settings of the two stories were the 'witching hour' time and where the victims were murdered. This helped the readers understand the important ideas of the 17th century phobia of being buried alive and also the superstitions and people's uneasy feeling about the witching hour. One major difference between the two stories is that there are two settings within the story of The Cask of Amontillado while in The Tell Tale Heart, there were just one. This showed the readers the vast contrast between life and death and how easily Fortunato was tricked into the darkness and to his death. But nevertheless Poe has successfully utilised the darkness and the silence of the night in capturing the readers' attention and interests. ...read more.

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