Differences in Methods of Creating Horror Between “the Cask of Amontillado” and “the Lottery”

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story, The Cask of Amontillado Pages: 2 (849 words) Published: April 20, 2012
Differences in Methods of Creating Horror between “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Lottery”

The Cask of Amontillado is believed to set place in the 18th century in a nameless city in Italy. Right from the start of the story, Edgar Allan Poe, sets the tone to be revengeful and unforgiving, in examples like, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” (Poe) And “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity.” (Poe). The Lottery on the other hand, starts off describing a clear and sunny morning of June 27th, a warm summer’s day. The author, Shirley Jackson, approaches Horror in a subtle way. The Author’s method is to create a perfect setting and start building suspense as the story progresses, and once it gets to the end, it’s where the reader uncovers the truth and the meaning behind what the characters are doing; thus impacting the reader and the emotions shift 180 degrees.

The Lottery takes place in a small town, of 300 people that have this common interest that has been implemented since the first people settled down to make a village. (Jackson) Every year, the villagers gather around for about 2 hours of a given day in the summer to play the lottery. The story keeps hidden the meaning of the lottery until the end, by describing how the box, where the papers that are drawn are kept, has had a long journey since it was first constructed. “The black box grew shabbier each year; by now it was no longer completely black put splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color; and in some places faded or stained.” (Jackson) The only hint that could give away what the whole reason as to why they had a lottery each year and for what purpose, were the stones the children made a pile of. “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones… eventually made a great pile of stones...
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