Compare and Contrast: The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe and A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
Amontillado and Emily: Similar or Different?
Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner are both prize-winning American authors and poets, who wrote some of the most memorable short stories, novels, and poems in the world. The two short stories that stand out the most to perhaps every student are titled The Cask of Amontillado by Poe and A Rose for Emily by Faulkner. Both of these stories include death, revenge, mystery, and murder. The Cask of Amontillado is about two men named Montreso and Fortunato. Montreso is seeking revenge on his friend, Fortunato. The only matter that is certain is that Montreso is angry with Fortunato, so angry that he seeks evil revenge. The story leads on allowing the reader to wonder will happen to Fortunato. Then there is the story, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner. He tells the story of an old woman who has died, named Emily. She was the talk of the town for many years, and the secrets of her life are revealed as her funeral allows the townspeople to enter her home. A few particular ways that Poe and Faulkner’s stories compare and contrast each other is by point of view and how each story is or is not told in chronological order. Each piece of literature effectively uses literary devices and conventions to illustrate the main points of the story and theme. They are alike in many ways, as they are different. Setting, point of view, characterization, climax, imagery, mood, and other effective literary devices are used throughout each story. Additionally, Poe and Faulkner were two men quite similar to one another, as in the two authors are known for being “dark” individuals with especially unique literary styles. While these stories contain specific differences in plot, such as holding onto the past and revenge, Poe and Faulkner’s works are as similar as the authors themselves.
Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner
The two authors are quite similar to one another, as they were both private men who expressed themselves in their writings. They are so much alike that their stories are quite similar. Both stories are considered to be “dark,” while Poe was always viewed as a dark and disturbed man. Faulkner wrote many different types of stories and not only dark stories like A Rose for Emily. Since they were such amazing writers, they were forced to be figures of the public eye while they fought for privacy. In 1827, Edgar Allan Poe enlisted in The United States Army using the name Edgar A. Perry. After two years of service, he was discharged and went back to his hometown, Baltimore (Wilson, 2004). William Faulkner also tried to join the U.S. Army Air Force, but was turned down because of his short stature (Padgett, 2008).
Death and Despair/Culture and Identity
Poe and Faulkner’s stories coincide with one another because they are about death and despair. The underlying theme in The Cask of Amontillado is about death and despair. By the end of the story, the author has the reader pondering whether or not it would be justified to murder someone. In A Rose for Emily, the main theme is about culture and identity. The town of Jefferson is described as a small city that knows everyone’s business. Additionally, it is also about letting go of the past. The people of Jefferson keep worrying about the past and not the present, and so did Emily. She kept her dead lover’s body in an upstairs room in her house and did not want to let go of the past. Poe and Faulkner’s stories are somewhat alike, as the authors are alike. They took various literature classes before they became famous authors. Poe joined the Jefferson Literary Society and was quite successful (Wilson, 2004). On the other hand, Faulkner never graduated from high school, and quit school for good in 1915. Edgar Allan Poe suffered from a tragic, mysterious death that is still unknown to this day. William...
References: Abcarian, R., & Klotz, M. (2007). Literature: The Human Experience (shorter 9th ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Braiman (2007). Literary Devices. Retrieved January 28, 2010, from
Padgett (2008). MWP: William Faulkner (1897-1962). The Mississippi Writers Page. Retrieved
January 27, 2010, from < http://www.olemiss.edu/>.
Wilson (2004). Poe 's Life - PoeMuseum.org. Poe Museum. Retrieved January 27, 2010, from
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