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With which of the two murderers do you feel sympathy for in the short stories, "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe and "Confessions found In a Prison" by Charles Dickens?

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Introduction

With which of the two murderers do you feel sympathy for in the short stories, "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe and "Confessions found In a Prison" by Charles Dickens? My essay will consist of the themes of the two short stories and background information on the authors who were living at the Victorian time, now seen as classical writers. Edgar Allen Poe was born January 19th 1809 in Boston. He was an American short story writer, poet, critic, and editor. He is famous in all of these traits for his cultivation of mystery and macabre writing. The atmosphere is his tales of horror is unrivalled in American fiction. After his mother died in Richmond, in 1811, he was taken into the home of John Allan, a Richmond merchant (presumably his godfather), and his childless wife. He was later taken to Scotland and England (1815-20), where he was given a classical education that was continued in Richmond. His gambling losses at the university incensed his guardian that he refused to let him continue, and Poe returned to Richmond to find his sweetheart, (Sarah) Elmira Royster, engaged. Poe made a name as a critical reviewer and married his young cousin Virginia Clemm, who was only 13. Poe seems to have been an affectionate husband and son-in-law. Poe was dismissed from his job in Richmond, apparently for drinking, and went to New York City. Drinking was in fact to be the bane of his life. To talk well in large company he needed a slight stimulant, but a glass of sherry might start him on a spree; and, although he rarely succumbed to intoxication, he was often seen in public when he did. ...read more.

Middle

The motives of the two murderers were different and similar in particular ways. In "The Tell Tale Heart" the assassin was disturbed by the evil eyes of the old man that was an image of a vulture. In "Confessions found In a Prison" the murderer was greedy and jealous because his wife seemed to love his nephew as her own child, the memory of his brother's wife's eyes lived in the little boy's eye in particular, which he inherited. I think there is a lot of evidence as to why the murderer was completely mad in "The Tell Tale Heart" The narrator was simply trying so hard to convince the reader that he/she was not mad, for example "but why will you say that I am mad" or the line "would a mad man have been so wise as this?" this clearly shows that the narrator is trying to convince the reader of his sanity. The repetitiveness and the use of phrases of how a mad man should be keeps relating to themes of madness. The narrator also uses speech, involving the readers by asking questions, e.g. "Would a mad man have been so wise as this?" The killer says in the first paragraph that he/she loved the old man. The killer didn't have any grudges against him, and he had never wronged the narrator. The only thing that came in the way of all of these opinions was that the narrator was haunted by the old man's eye. Such stupid, mad and negative thoughts took the life of an innocent man. ...read more.

Conclusion

The twist at the end of this story fascinated me, and gave effectiveness to the whole story. It was intelligently written. The ending wasn't obvious, and kept you guessing to the very end. I didn't expect the killer in "The Tell Tale Heart" to rip up the floor boards because of all of the hard work and preparation that the killer went through to cover up the crime scene. I took a great interest In the way the narrator was portrayed at the end, when the police inspectors arrived. The killer put on an innocent and relaxed facial expression, just in-case suspicion occurred with the officers. His or her voice tones were transformed into calm, relaxing tones, and the body language is conveyed greatly by the description from the author. The body language was altered depending on the situation to avoid suspicion. The reaction at the end was unexpected, but I could sense a twist building up in the writing. The coincidental visit from the police, and the dramatic confession of the killer was very amusing for me to read. In conclusion, Although I believe that neither of the murderers deserve sympathy, I feel remote pity for both murderers, in the fact that they were mentally unstable, and the knowledge of their crime tore at them until it drove them to confess all. I believe that this does equate for a slight sympathetic vote to go to the killer who showed the most emotion, and regret. I therefore would say I felt the most sympathy for the killer in "The Tell Tale Heart". Steven Morris Page 1 ...read more.

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