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The Similarities Between ???the Story of an Hour

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Essay title: The Similarities Between ???the Story of an Hour

In Literature, two short stories that may not seem similar on the surface can be if a deeper look is taken. A comparison can unlock hidden similarities that cannot be seen the first time one reads them. Such similarities have been found in the two short stories “The Story of an Hour” and “The Cask of Amontillado”. Both of these stories contain a parallel use of light and darkness, deceit and trickery, form of irony, presence of evil, and life’s journey.

In “The Story of an Hour” light and darkness are portrayed in the description of the surroundings. “There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met piled one above the other in the west facing her window” (Chopin 104). The patches of blue sky that seemed to want to escape from the clouds could signify the freedom that Mrs. Mallard was longing for so much but could not have. The clouds which almost swallowed up the blue sky could have represented her feeling of being trapped without escape.

“The Cask of Amontillado” utilizes light and darkness in the description of the surroundings. The cellar that Montresor, the one who held the torch, and Fortunato were in was very dark and the darkness itself swallowed them up. This use of darkness foreshadows the ending quite well. Montresor is the one who will escape the cellar and Fortunato, who did not have a torch, does not escape. The representation of light in this story, which is hidden extremely well, is the wine. It put Fortunato in a good mood and kept him going even when he did not feel well. The Amontillado wine was hope, destination, and purpose for Fortunado.

The deceit and trickery in “The Story of an Hour” was very apparent at first glance however after reading the story again you are able to see another type of deceit or trickery. The more obvious deceit was Mrs. Mallard’s joy to be released of the chains of marriage. Although she did not want anyone to know how much happiness she was experiencing. Mr. Mallard’s knowledge of his wife’s heart problems led him to fake his own death so that she would die of grief and he instead would be free of the chain of marriage. His friend Richards was not as careful with the message as the sister, which if Mrs. Mallard was grieving would have most likely caused death immediately. Also, at the end of the story Richards was trying to block Mr. Mallard’s view of his wife not the other way around.

“The Cask of Amontillado” contains deceit and trickery as well. Montresor acts as if he is Fortunato’s colleague and friend. He deceived Fortunato by asking for his expertise in the art of wine tasting to identify a wine that is supposed to be Amontillado. By doing this he appealed to Fortunato’s one weakness. “He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” (Poe 203). Taking advantage of this, Montresor lured Fortunato down into the depths of his wine cellar where he would finally get his revenge.

“The Story of an Hour” contains a form of irony that captures the entire story in two sentences. ”She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long” (Chopin 105). The extent of her discontent in her marriage made her dread the idea of a prolonged existence. Once she believed that she had been widowed, she began to instead pray for the opposite.

Montresor starts out the “The Cask of Amontillado” stating that he would be avenged for the many injuries that Fortunato had caused. In the end he does get his revenge but for most of the journey to obtain it he seems reluctant. On a few occasions Montresor asks Fortunato if he wanted to go back as if he cared about his well being. Even in the end, just before he is about to place the last stone, he yearns for a response

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