Compare and Contrast Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Story ‘the Black Cat’ with Roald Dahl’s Short Story ‘the Land Lady’.

In: English and Literature

Submitted By raiha
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Edgar Allan Poe was a 19th century American writer who is known to be a pioneer of short story writing, a poet and a novelist. Roald Dahl was a 20th century writer who is very famous for his stories for children, but the short story The Land Lady is not one for children but for much more mature readers. The story is about a young lad falling victim to an old taxidermist who stuffs objects of her affection in order to maintain and preserve it forever. Poe’s The Black Cat is a tale that leaves the reader somewhat perplexed. It certainly contains all the ingredients necessary to satisfy the appetite of any Poe enthusiast - an enigmatic narrator, alcohol and the effects there of, mutilation, stagnation, murder, putrefaction and last but not least perversity. There can be seen certain similarities and contradictions between the two short stories. Both short stories mirrors the delicate balance within the human psyche, when closely analyzing how narrative communicates the degeneration of the human mind. Both involve intelligent or calculating madmen with a purpose but not necessarily a motive for their killings. These murderers display a calmness of outward appearance but are obviously blighted by the chaos inherent within their own minds. Edgar Poe begins his short story by showing the unstable mentality of his protagonist. He tells us that he neither expects the reader to believe his confession because his own senses refuses to belive them. “Yet mad am i not - and very surely do I not dream.” This inability to understand oneself and the world around them in general can also be seen in The Land Lady but is more recognized in the story’s hapless hero Billy Weaver than in the murderer herself. “there is nothing more tantalizing than a thing like this which lingers just outside…...

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