Compare and Contrast Essay on Tell Tale Heart and the Cask of Amontillado

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The works of Edgar Allan Poe including The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell Tale Heart show a much darker and sinister side of the human spirit compared to the selfless, humanitarian stories of O. Henry’s The GIft of the Magi and James Hurst’s The Scarlet Ibis. They are very similar in many ways. From the plot being the same, from the same lonely settings. The characters and symbols line up almost perfectly. The similarities to the stories are a bunch of mixtures of dark twists yet I have to admit The Gift of the Magi and The Scarlet Ibis are a lot less dark.

The plot of Edgar Allan Poe's stories are very similar to the stories we read in class. I am going to compare the plot of The Cask of Amontillado to The Scarlet Ibis. I can’t exactly say the two stories are the same considering in The Scarlet Ibis the two brothers actually loved each other. But they both ended in the dark. “There is within me a knot of cruelty borne by the stream of love, much as our blood sometimes bears the seed of our destruction” (Hurst, The Scarlet Ibis) This quote is saying cruelty can be started from love. But in the plot The Scarlet Ibis the brother eventually dies yet he was happy at start. Yet in The Cask of Amontillado the two characters didn’t really like each other. The plots of these stories end very darkly yet they begin very differently.

The setting in these stories is very light compared to how dark the stories are yet how stupid they are. In The Gift of the Magi they are in a very poor setting yet the two characters love each other very much and gave up basically all of their possessions for each other but in the end they gave away what the gifts were for. “You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat.” (Poe, The Cask of Amontillado) The couple knew each other so well yet they get rid of money only for the viewers to realize they basically just gave it away. This would only make the area they live in worse. The setting in The Cask of Amontillado isn’t much better though because the area was so bad one of the guys was so drunk he got basically walled in alive by someone he barely knew. So the settings in these stories weren't that great and proves that the setting around you can be really effective.

The characters in these stories are very different there will be barely any explanation why they are different. For a first the people in Edgar Allan Poe's stories are almost never happy. “Pride is a wonderful terrible thing a seed that bears two vines life and death.”(Hurst, The Scarlet Ibis) I state that quote because I feel like these stories are inside the same seed. On one side is Edgar Allan Poe’s stories which the character are very dark,mostly have depression, die or kill someone in a horrible way. Finally on the other side of that vine there are the characters in the stories we read in class which do involve a bit of death but there is happiness within them. That is why the characters are very different yet very much the same.

The symbols in these stories are also very easy to explain considering all of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. “It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night.” (Poe, The Tell Tale Heart) This quote is a summary of all the symbolism in Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. All of them have to with death, misery or more. But in the stories that we read in class the symbols I saw were hope, emptiness, darkness, and happiness. Edgar Allan Poe’s symbols always have to do with death and how bad life can go while symbolism in the books we read in class always have a spark of hope no matter how dark it is. Yet Edgar Allan Poe's symbols are just downright depressing. The symbols in these stories are very easy to depict and they mean very much.

The stories of Edgar Allan Poe are very old yet still very famous. The books we read in class were very hopeful and had a lot of meaning. Both of the stories that were read were very meaningful and could be read in several ways by viewers. The books that were read were very similar in many ways yet very different.

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Compare and Contrast Essay on Tell Tale Heart and the Cask of Amontillado. (2021, Apr 06). Retrieved December 1, 2023 , from

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