Dr. Patrick A. Smith
Edgar Allan Poe “The Tell -Tale Heart” and Jack London “To Build a Fire”
Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” Edgar Poe is known for his tales of his mysteries and poetry. He was a tremendous writer and he wasn’t shy about expressing his words through writing. In addition, Jack London is also a great American writer. Jack London was known for his short story “To Build a Fire”. He wrote several powerful stories dealing with rights of workers. The comparison and contrast between the two stories is protagonist/antagonist experiences.
In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the man was cocky and his carelessness is the reason why he got caught. I think the man planned the old man death because he stocked the man every night for about a week. By creeping at the old man door, he knew that he was going to kill him. I really don’t believe he feared the old man. He just wanted to have a reason to kill the old man. The man was so determined to kill the old man that he just knew he committed the perfect crime.
After the killing of the old man, he continued to make careless mistakes. One mistake that he made, he invited the cops into the home for search. Maybe, he thought he would be eliminated as a suspect. At some point, the man placed his own chair upon the very spot where the corpse laid underneath the floor board. He was very confident that he wasn’t going to get caught.
In “How to Build a Fire”, the many hardships began on the second half of his journey. Personally, I think the man was very stubborn in this story. The man breaks through ice causing his feet and legs to freeze. Then, he stops and tried to build a fire because he wanted to get warm. He can’t even strike a fire because it was so cold that his fingers were numb. Throughout his whole journey, the dog kept looking at him as if the dog knew it was a mistake to be out there in that cold weather. The man mumbled to himself that “You was right, old hoss”. He realizes that he should have listened to the old man back at Sulphur Creek.