Cheated Of The Treasure

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Cheated of the Treasure: Comparing "˜Cask of Amontillado' and "˜A Hunger Artist' Revenge and suicide are considered by many to be the most selfish ways of afflicting yourself or another human being, nowhere is this more true than in Franz Kafka's "˜A Hunger Artist' and Edgar Allen Poe's "˜Cask of Amontillado'. We as readers are often left almost cheated of our reward at the end, both stories leaving at fairly ambiguous points, shrouding or deflating the powerful messages that each author is attempting to transmit. However, there exist some distinct differences in both short stories, both linguistically and thematically, the authors differing styles clearly apparent in either story, yet leaving on the same chilling note.

The language of both stories allows for a very different tone and mood to be set throughout either story. Poe's tale lends itself to a very lyrical, almost comical, language. The exchange of dialogue between Fortunato and Montresor is highly indicative of this, seen early in the story where Forntunato is anxious to see the pipe of Amontillado that Montresor claims to posses.

The spoken dialogue between Fortunato and Montresor almost instantly reveals the contrast of intentions of either character, the somber tone and mood demonstrated in Montresor's dialogue lending itself to his dark intentions. In contrast, Fortunato appears almost jovial, his dialogue representative of his currently inhebriated state throughout most of the story, this lending further to his appearance as the "˜jester' or "˜fool' figure in this story. The constant swtiching between Montresor's sombre tone to Forntunato's lyrical quips gives the story a mocking feel, as if we as readers are being tricked. The similar element of trickey exists within Kafka's story also, where we as readers expect the some grand mystical finale to the hunger artist's saga through fasting,