Comparison between “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Stone Cold” by Robert Swindells.
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”, is about a man who wants to kill an old man, because the old man’s eye freaks him out. After he killed the old man, he starts hearing the old man’s heart beating, constantly under the floorboards, driving the man insane. The police come round to see what had happened, after one of his neighbours had heard a scream, he cracks under the pressure and shouts at the top of his voice to the police, as the beating of the heart get louder and louder. Although he can hear it extremely loudly in his ears the police can’t hear it at all. So he tells the police what he had done. I think this is a clever way of expressing the man’s insanity and it sets the scene well.
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Robert Swindells’ “Stone Cold” however is slightly different. At the beginning of Daily routine Orders 15, Shelter, who is insane, is laughing this shows that he is mad because he also does this at the end of the chapter.
“Ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! That’s the sound of Shelter having the last laugh.” is the first sentence. As you can see, it is slightly different from Edgar Allan Poe. One of the main reasons for this is that they were written nearly 200 years apart so “The Tell Tale Heart” will be a lot more formal, such as “But why will you say that I am mad” and “ Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.”, whereas “Stone Cold” kind of uses colloquial language, such as “Confront the enemy, Shelter old lad. No retreat. No surrender.”
So this is just one reason why they are different, but why are they the same. Well, they both have a murderer who is insane, and they both have something against the person or people they kill. If you did not know the titles or the author’s of these two pieces you would know by the way they have been written that one was written many years ago as the English is very elegant and “olde” while the other is very modern.
They are both similar as when the police arrive they are both trying to hide the fact that they have killed someone even though in Stone Cold he does not admit in this chapter that he has actually killed someone the reader just thinks he has. In Stone Cold, Shelter is cleverer than the man from The Tell-Tale Heart as he keeps his cool through-out very clever insane person, but Poe’s character has taken his time over his killing and finally at the end he cracks and admits that he has committed the crime.
I found the Poe extract quite difficult to understand because I’m not used to “olde” English but read a couple of times you get the understanding of it, where as Swindells extract was much easier to understand, as it is more recently written.
Overall I thought both extracts where creative and enjoyable, even if it took a while to understand Poe’s.