Tuesday, October 7, 2008


In the works of “The Cask of Amontillado” and “My Last Duchess” by Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Browning both convey to the reader a story of revenge. Both the narrator’s of these two works seek out someone who they wish to murder, and do so with no hesitation or remorse. In the poems about America, Hamby and Hoagland have a complete and opposite view on the American way of life. In all these works we see how people react to their surroundings and other people.

In “The Cask of Amontillado” and “My Last Duchess” it is clear to the reader that both narrators are determined to commit murder. In Poe’s story the narrator swears revenge on Fortunado for something he has said. The narrator then lures the drunken Fortunado to the catacombs of his house to look for a ‘pipe’ (keg of wine). After multiple times of trying to convince Fortunado to leave (even though the narrator wants to murder him) he is finally chained up and buried deep in the damp darkness. In Browning’s story we learn of a man about to be married to someone after his previous wife was killed (because of her lifestyle choices). Although she is dead, the narrator still talks about her (which is odd because he clearly does not miss her).

In “America” and “Ode to America” the writers have the complete opposite views on the United States. Hoagland, throughout the course of his poem, talks about the negative aspects only, such as materialism. He claims America has gotten so into themselves that there is no good left in it. On the other hand, in Hamby’s poem we see just the opposite. She writes about the joys of her homeland and everything she misses while away in Paris.

In all these works we see examples of people who express themselves because of influence by society and their surroundings.

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