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The Development Of Death Essay

1976 words - 8 pages

Death is generally written about at the end of literature, but developed through out. Authors use foreshadowing to give the reader a clue as well as build suspense to shape the scene. Both Edgar Allen Poe and Cormac McCarthy use these techniques to develop the theme of death. Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, and McCarthy’s novel, No Country For Old Men, both revolve around death and mortality, but each are approached in their own way. Poe uses irony with his main character, Montresor, to enhance the death of Fortunato, while McCarthy’s antagonist, Chigurh, effectively uses his sociopathic ways to create suspenseful tactics leading up to death. Even though both authors ...view middle of the document...

The human remains on the wall are a reminder of death. This new setting is Fortunato’s fate, his death that he does not see coming.
As for No Country For Old Men, McCarthy produced a crime thriller novel. In comparison to a short story, a novel is a long fictional prose narrative with more deeply developed characters. It has the ability to create an entire world with its own reality and rules. The book is described as a crime thriller meaning it involves some type of crime, a criminal, suspense, anxiety, and law enforcement/detectives, which usually is the protagonist. It is also referred to as Texas Noir, which signifies that the novel is dark and unsentimental about violence and crime. With just the knowledge of what kind of book this is, the reader can already sense that death will be involved. It is narrated in both first person and third person. By having the novel written in two different perspectives, the reader gets insight from Sheriff Bell and the actions and inner thoughts from the other characters. This violent novel is set in the 1980’s in Sanderson, Texas. At first, No Country For Old Men takes place in the wilderness with Llewelyn Moss hunting antelope near the Rio Grande. He comes across a drug deal gone wrong with dead bodies everywhere. Right from the beginning, the theme of death is apparent and it only continues to develop. Moss finds a truck loaded with heroin and knows there is someone out there with the money and wants to locate the last man standing. He achieved his goal and took the document case with over two million dollars. Moss thinks to himself that if “there was somebody out here afoot that had two million dollars of your money, at what point would you quit lookin for em?” (McCarthy, 29). This thought foreshadows what is to come ahead and further develops the topic of death.
Not only does the style of writing and the setting aid in developing the theme, but irony also plays a major role in “The Cask of Amontillado”. From the beginning of the short story, there is an immense use of irony. Within the title lies irony. The word “cask” is derived from casket, which represents Fortunato’s death. At the carnival, Fortunato is dressed up as a jester and his costume is ironic because he is a fool for not knowing his death awaits him. Irony is incorporated in the dialogue as well. Montresor says to Fortunato, “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met” (Poe, 108) because he has been looking for Fortunato to kill him. When Fortunato wants to go down to the catacombs to look at the wine, Montresor has another plan in mind. However, Fortunato has a cough and Montresor is concerned because he wants to kill him his way and Fortunato thinks “the cough is a mere nothing: it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough” (Poe, 110). This statement is ironic because even though he will not die of a cough, he is going to die in the future. The reader is now able to see what is in store for Fortunato. A...

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