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Wolffs Hunters In The Snow English Literature Essay

Part 1

Both “Hunter’s in the Snow” and “The Cask of Amontillado” display the element of suspense, but I find “The Cask of Amontillado” to be more suspenseful. I believe this is because of the setting. The setting in “The Cask of Amontillado” catches your attention from the very beginning by setting it at dusk and describing the evening as “the supreme madness of carnival season” (Poe 611). In "The Cask of Amontillado" Poe uses language to first create a sense of intrigue and to create an enticing character and situation before expanding his clear purpose to further keep readers in a state of suspense. The setting builds the suspense for the story as you walk through the catacombs with the characters. The reader is aware of the dampness and the unpleasant niter by Fortunato’s cough and this is emphasized by the Montresor’s ceaseless descriptions of the place. For example, he describes the setting as the two walk through the passages by saying, “The nitre!..It hangs like moss upon the vaults. We are below the river’s bed. The drops of moisture trickle among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it’s too late.” (Poe 614). By using simple yet descriptive passages such as these, the reader is transported to the chilly vaults and can feel what the characters sense. Although for the most part, it remains a mystery throughout "The Cask of Amontillado" why Montresor harbors such hatred toward Fortunato, this missing information only builds more suspense and makes the reader more intent on the words Montresor speaks as he leads his enemy to his death. Poe uses language to create a sense of impending doom. By the end of “The Cask of Amontillado” the reader is so engaged with the act of unspecified revenge that the original question of what occurred no longer matters. One of the keys to the suspense that carries through the story is foreshadowing. Poe achieves this through language that creates a sense of place as well as foreboding. The story of "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe relies on descriptive words and images to create a sense of atmosphere paralleling the story’s dark plot.

“Hunter’s in the Snow” allows the reader to develop a deeper understanding of human nature by presenting three characters that stick out. Wolff is attempting to present a statement about the human condition. “Hunters in the Snow” attempts to get us to see deeper into the three men's personalities. Many devices used in literary fiction are present in the story. Weather is used throughout the story to emphasize the hostility between individuals. The shooting virtually comes out of nowhere and keeps the reader entirely on edge in a confusion of angry dialogue spewing from Kenny until he is shot like an animal by Tub. This builds suspense into the story and sets up the scene for deeper emotions to reveal themselves. Contrast between the seriousness of Kenny's injury and Tub & Frank's growing disinterest also helps show that there is more at work here than a hunting accident. Because these people are so self-centered an insight into the human condition by comparison is provided. Each occurring event has a purpose. Wolff builds up the suspense by using acts such as Kenny picking on Tub because of his weight or Kenny seemingly getting angry and losing it over a bad day of hunting. Wolff adds effect to each event by using real life issues such as bullying to act as a stimulus for each event and to serve as something for each character to learn from and reflect upon. But the most chilling part of this thoroughly chilling story is in the last few lines. Kenny says confidently that he's going to the hospital, but Wolff says "...He was wrong. They had taken a different turn a long way back." (99). The different turn they had taken is away from being human beings and toward being no better than animals. The story does not end in either a "good" or "bad" way. It ends in more of a gray tone, almost doubling back where the story began.

In conclusion, though both stories are captivating with their use of suspense, I believe that Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” grips the reader and pulls them to the edge of their seat. The setting used provides readers with a dark gothic atmosphere and this alone sets up the suspense. The setting combined with the characters weaves a gripping tale.

Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 9th ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2006.

Wolff, Tobias. “Hunters in the Snow.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 9th ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2006.

Part 2

When I first read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, I did not understand what exactly was going on. I kept wondering why the narrator, Montresor , was so clearly and openly angry. His constant agitation is blatantly apparent. Then I as I read on, I didn’t care why he was so bent on revenge, I just wondered how he was going to achieve it.

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is written in first-person point of view and told by a narrator named Montresor. Poe writes this story from the perspective of Montresor who vows revenge against Fortunato for an unknown wrong. This is made clear right from the beginning when Montresor vows to “not only punish, but punish with impunity” (Poe 611). Poe does not intend for the reader to sympathize with Montresor because he has been wronged by Fortunato, but rather to judge him. Montresor is clearly deranged and twisted. The reader is invited to delve into the inner workings of a sinister mind. The sinister part of Montresor is apparent by his garb of “a mask of black silk” (Poe 612) and the drawing of his cloak closely around him. Only a deranged and twisted mind could plan this revenge out as he has.

By telling the story from Montresor's point of view, the effect of moral shock and horror is accentuated. Poe chose wisely by using the viewpoint of Montresor over that of Fortunato. If he had chose to tell his story through the victim, Fortunato, it have probably lost its effective, significant qualities. With the absence of Montresor as narrator, this dark tale would lack clarity, would sacrifice its chilling suspense, and would fail at offering the reader an authentic glimpse into Montresor's remarkable mind.

In conclusion, the “Cask of Amontillado” is truly a chilling tale. The use of the first-person point of view and the choice of the narrator exemplify this. Montresor gives us chilling suspense with his machinations.

Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 9th ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2006.

Part 3

The poem “Blackbird Eating” by Galway Kinnell stimulates your senses with the use of sensory and figurative language. In this poem, Kinnell uses metaphor to show a relationship between blackberries which are tangible, and words which are intangible. He is attracted to touch, taste, and appearance of blackberries. That idea is constant throughout the poem.

The sensory characteristic of touch is demonstrated by the physical touch and eating of the fruit. This example can be found in the second verse of the poem where Kinnell uses the description of “fat, overripe, icy, blackberries” (879). When reading that description, you can almost feel the berries in your hand. A second example is found in verse four where Kinnell describes the stalk as “prickly” (879). The prick of the stalk is felt jabbing you as you attempt to pick the berries from it. The words used engage us in the process of picking the berry and then tossing it into our mouth leading to the second characteristic of taste. This is exhibited in line six by the statement “fall almost unbidden to my tongue” (Kinnell 879). Thereafter, he states the following, "As words sometimes do, certain peculiar words like strengths or squinched" (879). The blackberries are compared with words in that they both enter his mouth willingly. The connection that Kinnell is trying to make is his love for blackberries and the language of words. In some way, readers taste and touch the fruit too with Kinnell's expressions of words.

In conclusion, the final lines of this fourteen-line poem reveal the imagery of blackberries and the imagery formed by words, connecting both together as one. The poem is well written by Galway Kinnell, contributing several metaphors and strong imagery.

Works Cited

Kinnell, Galway. “Blackberry Eating.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 9th ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2006.

Part 4

The poem “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas and the poem “Death, be not proud” by John Donne give contrasting views of death. In the poem “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night,” Dylan Thomas portrays that it is not honorable or befitting for a great or interesting man to die quietly in old age. Thomas encourages the thinking that death is something that should be fought rather than silently accepted. This is apparent in line two where Thomas writes, “Old age should burn and rave at close of day.” (889). In contrast to that, the poem “Death, be not proud” by John Donne encourages us to embrace death as a pleasant, temporary experience because we will live eternally in heaven. This is shown in lines thirteen and fourteen where Donne writes, “One short sleep passed, we wake eternally, and death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.” (892).

The poem “Death, be not proud” reflects the philosophy that I believe in. I chose this poem because I am a Christian. However, I would not say that I am as peaceful with the thought of death as the poem presents. I would give some fight before I just accepted death.

In conclusion, whatever your beliefs are, these two poems “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” and “Death, be not proud” represent conflicting views of death. It is for you decide which one you agree with but both are well written accounts.


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