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The Cask of Amontillado and A Rose for Emily

Essay Topic:
Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner are both prize-winning American authors and poets, who wrote some of the most memorable short stories, novels, and poems in the world. The two short stories that stand out the most to perhaps every student are titled The Cask of Amontillado by Poe and A Rose for Emily by Faulkner. Both of these stories include death, revenge, mystery, and murder.
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The Cask of Amontillado is about two men named Montreso and Fortunato. Montreso is seeking revenge on his friend, Fortunato. The only matter that is certain is that Montreso is angry with Fortunato, so angry that he seeks evil revenge.

The story leads on allowing the reader to wonder will happen to Fortunato. Then there is the story, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner. He tells the story of an old woman who has died, named Emily. She was the talk of the town for many years, and the secrets of her life are revealed as her funeral allows the townspeople to enter her home. A few particular ways that Poe and Faulkner’s stories compare and contrast each other is by point of view and how each story is or is not told in chronological order. Each piece of literature effectively uses literary devices and conventions to illustrate the main points of the story and theme.

They are alike in many ways, as they are different. Setting, point of view, characterization, climax, imagery, mood, and other effective literary devices are used throughout each story. Additionally, Poe and Faulkner were two men quite similar to one another, as in the two authors are known for being “dark” individuals with especially unique literary styles. While these stories contain specific differences in plot, such as holding onto the past and revenge, Poe and Faulkner’s works are as similar as the authors themselves. Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner

The two authors are quite similar to one another, as they were both private men who expressed themselves in their writings. They are so much alike that their stories are quite similar. Both stories are considered to be “dark,” while Poe was always viewed as a dark and disturbed man. Faulkner wrote many different types of stories and not only dark stories like A Rose for Emily. Since they were such amazing writers, they were forced to be figures of the public eye while they fought for privacy. In 1827, Edgar Allan Poe enlisted in The United States Army using the name Edgar A. Perry.

After two years of service, he was discharged and went back to his hometown, Baltimore (Wilson, 2004). William Faulkner also tried to join the U. S. Army Air Force, but was turned down because of his short stature (Padgett, 2008). Death and Despair/Culture and Identity Poe and Faulkner’s stories coincide with one another because they are about death and despair. The underlying theme in The Cask of Amontillado is about death and despair. By the end of the story, the author has the reader pondering whether or not it would be justified to murder someone.

In A Rose for Emily, the main theme is about culture and identity. The town of Jefferson is described as a small city that knows everyone’s business. Additionally, it is also about letting go of the past. The people of Jefferson keep worrying about the past and not the present, and so did Emily. She kept her dead lover’s body in an upstairs room in her house and did not want to let go of the past. Poe and Faulkner’s stories are somewhat alike, as the authors are alike. They took various literature classes before they became famous authors.

Poe joined the Jefferson Literary Society and was quite successful (Wilson, 2004). On the other hand, Faulkner never graduated from high school, and quit school for good in 1915. Edgar Allan Poe suffered from a tragic, mysterious death that is still unknown to this day. William Faulkner died from a heart attack at the age of 64 and is buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford (Padgett, 2008). The “Murderers” in The Cask of Amontillado and A Rose for Emily The authors of these stories create their main characters to be murderers. Therefore, both stories contain death.

Montreso and Emily are the main characters of The Cask of Amontillado and A Rose for Emily, and both characters murder another character in the plot. There is one aspect of both stories that are related to one another, which is that both characters are not punished for their crimes. The only difference is that Fortunato’s body is never found in Montreso’s palazzo, and Emily’s lover, Homer, is found years after his death, and after Emily’s death. Montreso’s crime never comes to light, as he is writing about the murder 50 years after the fact.

However, the townspeople of Jefferson end up discovering Emily’s crime. Even though the crime was eventually discovered, Emily was already gone and she could not be punished for murdering her lover. The reader may also believe that Poe and Faulkner’s stories are about revenge. While analyzing each story, one may discover that The Cask of Amontillado is about revenge and A Rose for Emily is more about holding on to the past. William Faulkner’s symbolism in A Rose for Emily is Homer’s body that was never put to rest.

Emily was so focused on the past and what she had with Homer that she could not let him go. Therefore, she murdered him and kept him close to her. Both of the murderers, Montreso and Emily, are portrayed as crazy individuals to the reader who use creative, untraditional ways of murdering their victims. For example, Montreso kills his victim by chaining him to the wall of his palazzo and blocking him in by building another wall, as to bury him inside. Emily murders her love by purchasing arsenic and fooling Homer into consuming it.

In some cases, it may even seem as though the authors portray their fictional characters to the people that they know in their lives. Homer and Fortunato Fortunato’s insult to Montreso was obviously extremely hurtful, which caused Montreso to seek a creative way to hurt his friend. The Cask of Amontillado is centered on revenge and death, as Montreso murders Fortunato. This also seems true with the plot arrangement for A Rose for Emily. However, it could be evident that Emily did not want to be embarrassed in front of the whole town.

It is apparent that Homer and Emily slept together, which would be considered shameful for a single woman to sleep with a man at this time in America. Perhaps Emily did not want the townspeople to discover that Homer was not going to make her an honest woman and marry her; therefore she did the unthinkable. Characters Related to Authors Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner are known for incorporating their personal friendships, and even their own personalities, into their writings. One thing that I noticed in The Cask of Amontillado is that Montreso resembles Poe in appearance and mannerisms.

The reader never sees what Montreso looks like; however one can imagine that he looks like Edgar Allan Poe, and he seems to act just like him as well. Additionally, the language that is used in both stories majorly reflects the time difference, as they were written many years ago. In Poe’s short story, Fortunato is murdered because of an insult he told Montreso. Poe’s personal and social life did not seem to fit Montreso’s, as he did not seem to have many friends. The reasons being are Poe’s famous poems about despair, loneliness, and heartache. Relationship with the Setting

William Faulkner also incorporates his personal life into his writings. It is said that Faulkner wrote A Rose for Emily based off the personality of Emily Dickinson. Additionally, Edgar Allan Poe definitely seemed to have a fascination of death, as it is displayed in many of his writings including The Tell-Tale Heart. William Faulkner also seemed to have a fascination with death when he wrote A Rose for Emily as well as when he wrote his popular novel titled As I Lay Dying. In this novel, Faulkner uses the town of Jefferson for the setting, which is the same in A Rose for Emily.

Perhaps Faulkner had a special relationship with the fictional city of Jefferson, Mississippi, which was really a made-up town much like the city he grew up in, Oxford, Mississippi (Padgett, 2008). Literary Devices and Conventions The overall comparison of the two stories and authors has been discussed and analyzed. Both authors effectively use literary devices and conventions to illustrate the theme including imagery, setting, symbolism, irony, plot, and point of view. What makes The Cask of Amontillado and A Rose for Emily so similar is the point of view and the similarity of the authors’ personalities.

Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner were private men who expressed themselves through their writings, both were apparently fascinated with death, they enlisted in the Army, and they have used literary devices and conventions effectively to provoke anticipation and mystery throughout the story. Additionally, The Cask of Amontillado and A Rose for Emily are centered on death, revenge, and looking beyond the past. Both of the characters in each story, Montreso and Emily, are alike in that they do not receive punishments for their crimes.

While Emily is portrayed as a crazy person to the townspeople, Montreso is also portrayed by the reader as a neurotic madman. Additionally, the characters in both stories are related to the authors who created them, as Faulkner reflected his personal life in his writings, while Poe used his imaginative mind many times. Poe and Faulkner use effective literary devices and conventions in each story, which is extremely important for any piece of literature to obtain. Literary devices comprise the story’s elements, which is how readers gain understanding of and appreciation for an author’s works (Braiman, 2007).

The Cask of Amontillado and A Rose for Emily does an immaculate job at using effective literary devices and conventions throughout each piece of literature. Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner are somewhat alike in literary style as well as their personal lives, which allow the popular stories they have written to be alike in many different ways. These stories are alike, as they are different because of the two authors, death and despair, and how the characters relate to the authors. Poe and Faulkner’s literary techniques and stories are famous for a reason, which is because they are unique and imaginative.

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The Cask of Amontillado and A Rose for Emily. (2017, Apr 03). Retrieved October 21, 2019, from https://phdessay.com/the-cask-of-amontillado-by-edgar-allen-poe-and-a-rose-for-emily-by-william-faulkner/.