The Obsession with Murder How do the narrators influence the central theme in "My Last Duchess"ÃÂ by Robert Browning, "The Tell Tale Heart"ÃÂ by Edgar Allen Poe, and "A Rose for Emily"ÃÂ by William Faulkner? The narrator in "My Last Duchess"ÃÂ influences the central theme by his attitude. In "The Tell Tale Heart"ÃÂ the narrator's influence on the central theme is the mental illness that he has. In "A Rose for Emily"ÃÂ the narrator influences the central theme by the social structure of the town. The narrators in "My Last Duchess"ÃÂ, "The Tell Tale Heart, and "A Rose for Emily"ÃÂ influence the central themes by building credibility.
In the poem "My Last Duchess,"ÃÂ the central theme is the attitude of the royalty, which causes the murder. The narrator automatically lets the reader know that he is very interested in artwork.
For instance, the narrators bringing attention to the rarity of the statue of Neptune, by showing off his expensive art collection that he is very proud of (Browning 662). Furthermore, the narrator's motivation is the envy towards the attitude of his wife. In fact, the way his wife watches the sunset, rides the mule around in the terrace, and "my gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name,"ÃÂ all are ranked the same in her eyes. The narrator wants his wife to value is gift more than anything else. Clearly, the narrator shows that he is materialistic and he values his inheritance and his wife should also.
In "The Tell Tale Heart"ÃÂ the central theme is the narrators mental illness that triggers him to commit the murder. Throughout the story, the narrator tries to convince the reader that he is not crazy. For instance, the narrator claims, "the disease had sharpened [his] sense-not destroyed."ÃÂ The narrator goes on to say "and now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over acuteness of the sense"ÃÂ(Poe 35). The narrator is trying to point out to the reader that the disease has a positive side to his health by strengthen his senses. The narrator establishes credibility by trying to convince the reader and as well as himself that he is not crazy. Next, the attitude of the narrator towards the old man lets the reader know that he cares for the old man. For example, as long as the narrator avoids the old mans eye, he can love and care for the old man. Furthermore, the eye of the old man is the narrator's motivation. For instance, the eye resembled a vulture with a film over it, and that drove the man crazy every time he made eye contact with it (Poe 34). The evil eye disturbs the narrator and which triggers him to take the old mans life. Therefore, the narrator's mental illness takes over by destroying the old man because of his eye.
In "A Rose for Emily"ÃÂ the narrator tells the story in first person as a non-participant. The narrator uses "we"ÃÂ through out the story, and "we"ÃÂ meaning the townspeople. For example, the same one person could not have been at her house the night they sprinkled lime, at the drugstore when she bought rat poison, and at her house after she had died because each event happened at different times and places. The narrator also establishes credibility by knowing the town's history. For instance, the narrator builds credibility by knowing the history of Colonel Sartoris, and Emily's great-aunt old lady Wyatt, who has gone crazy (Faulkner 25). The central theme is the social structure that caused the murder. The Grierson's family name puts her in a social situation which is amplified by the gossip and criticism of the Jefferson community. In fact, the gossip about Emily's relationship with Homer did not meet the approval of the townspeople. For example, "some of the ladies began to say that it [is] a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people"ÃÂ (Faulkner 31). The motive for the murder is to try to keep Homer around longer. After all, Emily has a social status she has to up hold, and Homer is not the marring type. In conclusion, the gossip of the town and the social status of her family name cause the murder.
In conclusion, each narrator uses different strategies to demonstrate his or her credibility. However, the strategy that is chosen builds on the central theme for each story.