"Araby" and "Cask of Amontillado": a Comparison

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Character, Protagonist Pages: 3 (1012 words) Published: April 29, 2013
“Araby” and “The Cask of Amontillado”: A Comparison

I found the stories “Araby,” by James Joyce and “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allan Poe to have a similar idea behind them. They both seem to be stories involving someone manipulating the actions of another person. I will be talking about and comparing the different elements of each story and their relevance.

Both stories take place in different countries. In “Araby” the story is about a boy from Ireland. The country itself doesn’t have too much importance. The story would be almost the same if the boy was from America. When the main character visits the bazaar is when the setting matters. In this case the setting in not the physical place, but what it represents. The items for sale are from the Middle East. This adds a taste of adventure to the bazaar, so it’s not just another flea market. For “The Cask of Amontillado,” again the country doesn’t matter. It could take place anywhere in the world. The importance is the cellar. Poe uses this creepy place to set the mood.

The themes of each story are different yet similar. In “Araby” the protagonist is motivated by desire. He is infatuated with his friend’s sister. He would do anything for her. By her telling him she wished she could go to the bazaar but couldn’t, it made him want to go just to get her something. Joyce doesn’t say, but I think that the boy wouldn’t have gone or wanted to go so badly if she didn’t talk to him. In “The Cask…” the protagonist is the one who manipulates someone else. He is motivated by revenge. He uses Fortunato’s love of wine to get what he wants. He made Fortunato think that it was his idea to go down to the cellar. This way the protagonist manipulated his enemy to catch him unaware.

For “Araby the only symbolism I found dealt with the bazaar. The bazaar represented adventure. It stood for something romantic and foreign. Other than that I didn’t think anything else in the story was a significant symbol. As for...
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