Poe Comparative Essay

1611 words - 6 pages

In Edgar Allen Poe's short stories "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" there are many similarities. They both give off incredibly creepy surroundings, and the main characters in both are very odd. In "The Cask of Amontillado," vengeance is a key theme. Montressor is after Fortunato because he thinks that Fortunato has insulted him. The narrator decides to use Fortuanto's liking for Italian wine against him, and lead him into the basement vaults. In "The Fall of the House of Usher," family is a very important theme. Roderick Usher writes a letter to his friend, the narrator, and asks him to come stay with him for a while. The narrator finds this odd because he hasn't talked to Roderick in many years. The narrator comes to the house, and it looks very creepy. Roderick is sick when the narrator gets there, so the narrator tries to be a good friend and does things like reads to Roderick. Roderick's sister suddenly dies, and the narrator helps Roderick bury the body in a vault under the house because he is scared that doctors might dig up her body for scientific examination. Roderick begins flipping out, and hearing things, until he realizes that he buried Madeline alive! The characters Roderick Usher and Montressor are very similar because they are insane, possess evil qualities, and have guilty consciences.In both of Poe's stories, Roderick and Montressor are practically proved insane. If the stories do not bluntly say they are insane, one can tap into some insane qualities they both possess. "The writer spoke of acute bodily illness --of a mental disorder which oppressed him --and of an earnest desire to see me, as his best, and indeed his only personal friend, with a view of attempting, by the cheerfulness of my society, some alleviation of his malady." That quotation is an example of Poe bluntly stating that Roderick is insane. The next quotation proving that Roderick is insane is one that the narrator of the story is saying.I could not help thinking of the wild ritual of this work, and of its probable influence upon the hypochondriac, when, one evening, having informed me abruptly that the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his intention of preserving her corpse for a fortnight, (previously to its final interment,) in one of the numerous vaults within the main walls of the building.Who else would want to bury his dead sister in the basement? It reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." In that movie, the main character hides his dead mother in the basement for a long time. A normal person would not do that.Montressor was a nutcase also.The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only...

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