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?
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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 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
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. Leighton Jones 10N Mrs N Thomas English
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