Essay on Edgar Allan Poe and Maupassant’s Stories

Submitted By Nick-Li
Words: 1932
Pages: 8

Nick Li
Professor Duckworth
English 1B
Setting and Description: The most important of Literary Element Setting is the physical location in a piece of literature that provides background in which the events of the narrative take place. Additionally, setting includes time, and social environment which can move the plot forward, making the audience get involved. Also, description is how the writer describes carefully the detailing of a person, place, thing, or event. Setting and description are the main elements. In the Poe’s stories ,such as “The Black cat” , “The tell-tale heart”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, and “The Fall of the House of Usher” , all these stories are constructed with the creepy environment and description through specific details in order to create the horrible mood toward audiences , and develop the character from the perfect description. Moreover, in the Maupassant’s stories, such as “The Necklace” and “Ball of Fat”, both stories reveal much about unacceptable emotions and the problems of social class in 1800s. Poe and Maupassant use setting and description to develop the character, to move the plot forward, to set the mood, and to reflect the central conflict of the main characters. One of the ways the authors use setting is to reflect the mental state of the characters. For instance, in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” the main character is being driven mad by a cat. However, his wife wants to save the cat and as a result, the narrator kills both his wife and the cat. Poe mentions that “The figure of a gigantic cat” develops the Li2 change of narrator’s character from a “nicely, lovely animal man” to a “brutal, hated animal man” which twists his world to evil. He was trying to decide how to hide the evidence when he finally decides to hide them in the cellar. The narrator, says, “Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient….. I determined to wall it up in the cellar-as the monks of them middle ages are recorded to have walled up in their victims”(Poe113). When the narrator walled up his wife and cat, he was in fact trying to hide his madness and his “darkest and most evil thoughts.” He really wanted to murder his wife and instead, he uses the cat as an excuse for murder. The cellar represents his deepest, darkest human nature. The cellar functions as a tomb, which represents the hidden desires that the narrator has and his tormented state. People often think of houses as representing people. So the cellar is the foundation of the person, the center what he would think about all the time, what would be at the center of his being. The narrator is burying people in his center. He would be haunted by them all the time. Everything he does would remind him of his act. Poe uses setting and description to move the plot forward. In “The Black Cat”, the house that stands for wealth, leisure is burnt, so the couple is left with each other. They must communicate with each other. They can’t hide in material objects. But she has the cat. It is almost as if she will substitute the cat for the man. Poe describe from “The whole house was blazing” to “The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very think, which stood about the middle of the house” (Poe110), which recreate the sensory of sights how the house is burning down so it can move the plot forward which shows the narrator and his wife’s life will be worse than Li3 before through their transition from wealth to poverty