A Comparison of The Purloined Letter and The Black Cat
In this essay I will be comparing the two short stories, 'The
Purloined Letter' & 'The Black Cat'.
The Purloined Letter is about a detective (Dupin) who is asked by the
Parisian Police prefect over a Purloined Letter. An eminent minister
has stolen an important letter and it contains information that can be
dangerous for an important individual. No one can find the letter even
though knowing who has it. Dupin has had past history with the
minister, the motivation to get revenge and also Dupin's superior
intelligence helps Dupin to recover the letter.
On the other hand The Black Cat has a totally different story line.
The Black Cat is about the narrators downfall into madness and
murderous violence, his love for animals changing into hate, which is
all fuelled by alcoholism.
After the narrator murders his cat, he has a lot of guilt on his
shoulders. Having so much guilt he finally finds a replacement cat,
which looks similar to his old cat but has a spooky factor to it. The
spooky cat is the result of the narrator's downfall at the end, when
he ends up murdering his wife. The spooky cat gets its revenge when
the police, for the murder of his wife, catch the narrator.
The two stories, which have hardly anything in common story wise, have
some similarities in some aspects of the stories.
First of all, looking at both of the stories plots you can see they
are two completely different short stories. The Black Cat and the
Purloined Letter have a lot of plots, which is probably the only
similarity between both of the stories. The Black Cat has a violent,
murderous plot filled with revenge and insanity. Also it has a small
plot which can be the alcoholism shown in the story. The Purloined
Letter whilst has a more calmer and subtle plots, such as the
intellectual thrills, blackmail, theft and deceit. Both of the stories
although do share one plot that is the same and that is revenge.
There are more different locations in The Purloined Letter compared to
the different locations in The Black Cat. The Purloined Letter has
locations such as Minister D's hotel, which adds mystery; Royal
apartment equals high society and extravagance. Dupin's apartment is
small, smoky and claustrophobic, probably representing Dupin. The
Black Cat has more haunting locations such as basements and pubs,
which give a sense of vile haunts. Also the tree is spooky as that is
were the cat was hanged. There is no similarities between both of the
stories locations as The Purloined Letters locations give the story
that mysterious feel, whilst The Black Cats locations or more haunting
The Black Cat uses a lot of different types of punctuations to create
that fast heart pumping pace and give the story faster flowing