William Faulkner’s and Edgar Alan Poe . Two Sides of One Crime


William Faulkner’s and Edgar Alan Poe’s are worldwide famous for their short stories “Rose for Emily ” and “The Tell-Tale Heart ”. Even though they were written in a different time and by different authors, the stories have numerous similarities. In the following work “A Rose for Emily ” and “The Tale-Tell Heart ” are being contrasted and compared.

Apparently, both stories tell about hidden crimes. However, William Faulkner and   Edgar Alan Poe present their crimes in different ways. Both authors’ characters were murderers. Moreover, Miss Emily and Poe’s narrator did not get rid of the bodies but wanted to keep them close. Nonetheless, the purpose of such decisions differed. “A Rose for Emily” presents the reader a tragedy of a woman who was miserable and twice abandoned by the men that she loved. Her father was the first to be lost. Probably, his death was so painful for the main heroine that it caused her a mental issue (Faulkner). It is easy to understand that Miss Emily was sick from the story. It would be logical to assume the killed her bellowed Homer Barron not because of a desire of his death but because of fear to stay alone again.

Poe’s narrator (unlike Faulkner, Poe did not give his character a name) also had obvious mental problems. He was sick but did not want to acknowledge that fact. His maniacal idea was to prove his adequacy. However, the motive of his murder proves the opposite. The narrator was paranoid and wanted to get rid of the old man’s evil eye (Poe). As it was mentioned before, Poe’s character and Miss Emilia decided to keep the corpses at their places. This fact shows another dissimilarity – Miss Emily put the body of her beloved in a bed. In the other words, she cared about him and wanted Barron to “feel comfortable” even after death (Faulkner).

Thinking about Poe’s narrator, one would understand that he kept his corpse in an absolutely opposite way. As a matter of fact, this detail is also important because here one may find one more important detail. It is important to understand that Emily and Poe’s character both liked their victims but treated them differently. Nevertheless, Emily used a poison in order to kill her lover, even though the author did not write it directly (Faulkner). This is a fast and simple way to kill a person. Poe’s way to kill his victim was more creative. He was planning his crime for many days. The character felt happiness because of what he was doing, he was sure that his decision was correct. He did not feel sorry for cutting off an old man’s body part and putting them under boards that formed a floor but felt the pleasure of doing that (Poe).

Moreover, while reading “A Rose for Emily” one may find one more crime in it. It is not a physical but a mental offense. Faulkner depicted a hidden prejudice in his story. The author described how the town’s citizens acted towards Emily and her black servant, in particular. Unlike Poe, Faulkner gave more attention to social problems.

In conclusion, there are several similarities and dissimilarities in “A Rose for Emily” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Both of them tell the reader about the murders that were committed by people with mental issues. Criminals wanted to keep their victims for themselves in each story. At the same time, both stories remain unique and in spite of all the provided above facts.

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