Comparative Literature in “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Great Gatsby”

Narrator/Narratee Relationships in “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Great Gatsby"

Here I wanna present a book report on comparative literature of two work of arts. I wanna make it very interesting and informative. This post can help you understand the differences and similarities between the two pieces of literature “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Great Gatsby" and how they are related to each other. In this comparative analysis, you can learn more about the characters, plot, setting, and other aspects of the two books. This type of report can also be used to discuss your own interpretation of the two works of art.

A relationship between a narrator and narratee is a topic, which scholars frequently overlook, since they consider it a relatively unimportant one. Nevertheless, this subject matter is worthy of a discussion because it enhances the understanding of literary works. It is reasonable to compare and contrast narrator/narratee relationships in the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. These authors are known for their use of creative narration methods. The primary argument is that the similarity between the narrator/narratee relationships in “The Cask of Amontillado” and The Great Gatsby lies in the fact that the narrators are willing to share their secrets with narratees. The difference is the circumstance that Montresor’s narration is unreliable as compared to Nick’s one. What is more, these relationships become much more complicated at the end of both stories when the narrators reveal the information about atrocious events.

It is clear that the narrators in both cases are individuals that excel at storytelling. It seems that they disregard their safety and well-being due to the fact that they are not afraid that someone may betray them and provide authorities with the information about mentioned criminal activities. On the other hand, another possible explanation of this fearlessness is that the narrators speak to the people they know and trust. In other words, a reader perceives these stories from the perspective of a close friend of a narrator. This approach is creative and enhances the overall reading experience. The use of this technique in The Great Gatsby is much more impressive than in “The Cask of Amontillado” due to the length of the first work. “Above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg” is a quote worthy of discussion. It is possible to regard it as a sign of the fact that Nick talks to another person. The use of this technique suggests that Fitzgerald wants to create an illusion that Nick tells this story to a new friend or a stranger. It seems that a narratee is a person who does not know about the events from the narrator’s life. Nick provides all necessary information about the characters and events to ensure that a narratee has full understanding of the story. However, he is not afraid of telling about his association with a gangster and gives all names of the characters. Therefore, it is evident that he trusts a narratee because Nick would put his safety at risk if someone untrustworthy had access to the above-mentioned information. This action establishes a unique relationship between a narrator and a narratee. The writer suggests that Nick is willing to tell all of his secrets to a reader. It is worth noting that Nick is not the central character of the novel since he has a relatively small impact on the story and events. This approach helps to create the atmosphere, due to which one views Nick as a spectator. However, it is entirely possible that he is hiding something and does not want to tell a narratee about himself. Therefore, it is reasonable to question the validity of the information, which the narrator provides.

Poe utilizes a similar technique, “you must not suppose, however, that I spoke of this to anyone” (68). It is evident that the central character addresses another person. One of the signs that suggest that the storyteller knows a narratee is the fact that he does not discuss his or Fortunato’s backgrounds. It seems that he believes that a reader already knows all the details of the relationship between these two characters. Montresor tells a narratee how he has built the wall to ensure that Fortunato cannot escape. These actions are extremely disturbing and show that he was willing to kill a person for laughing at him. What is more, the way, in which the character tells the story, suggests that he is proud of his actions and believes that it was a reasonable response to insults. On the other hand, it seems that Montresor is extremely cautious since he does not tell anyone else about these events. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that a narratee is Montresor’s friend or relative. These assertions are reasonable because Poe wanted to ensure that all aspects of his stories were interconnected. The way a narratee perceives the narrator changes over the course of the story. It is clear that he did not have good intentions from the very beginning since he notes that Fortunato has hurt him. He treated him as a friend and offered him to drink a glass of wine but the ending revealed the real motives of the character and explained his friendliness. Therefore, a narratee has to think about his or her relationship with Montresor because this friendship may also not be real, and the narrator has shown that he was a dangerous person. Overall, the similarity between two examples of narrator/narratee relationships in the aforementioned works lies in the circumstance that narrators are most likely to know narratees. However, the difference is the fact that Poe provides more specific information and highlights: Montresor was reluctant to share his story with another person. Fitzgerald, however, does not give these details.

A narratee would perceive Nick as a person who tries to escape boredom. It seems that his actions are rather insignificant, and his life would not be interesting without his acquaintances. Nevertheless, he surrounds himself with people enjoying drama, and it is evident that everyone besides him suffers. In other words, he attracts bad luck. The narrator does not seem to be extremely dangerous but the fact that he was not afraid of communicating with a gangster and did not contact the authorities to tell about it suggests that it could affect the way, in which one perceives Nick. A narratee would be quite suspicious and would have to evaluate possible consequences of association with this type of people. However, it is possible to argue that Nick trusts a narratee, and it is unlikely that he would risk his life and share these details with a stranger.

In “The Cask of Amontillado,” the relationship between the narrator and narratee becomes complicated when Montresor tells about his crime at the end of the story. Poe manages to evoke the emotions of the readers: a narratee has to recognize that this knowledge would put enormous pressure on a person if the same situation happened in real life. It is clear that Montresor is dangerous, and one would have to think about possible implications of interacting with people like him. However, a reader does not have enough time to think about the situation since the author ends the story abruptly and one does not need to think about the events that happen later. This approach is rather questionable. The world, which Poe created, still exists, and one has to use imagination to explore various possibilities and developments. Therefore, it is clear that Poe utilized that technique intentionally – uncertainty is one of the scariest emotions. One may experience these feelings by reading the story few times and analyzing the impact of the narration on a narratee. The relationship between the storyteller and a reader highlights the fact that this story is not straightforward. It has different dimensions and interpretations.

The relationship between the narrator and narratee in The Great Gatsby becomes complicated when Nick describes how Wilson killed Gatsby at the end of the story. A narratee is in a unique position since he or she has to handle the burden associated with this knowledge. Therefore, focusing on the emotional and psychological impact of the information, which Nick provides, one may have better understanding of the story. It is appropriate to assume that a reader would be shocked by particular details of this story and would have to think about their significance. In addition, the narrator does not explain whether the authorities are aware of the events or not. Therefore, he puts a narratee in a position where one has to evaluate the importance of provided evidence. It complicates the narrator/narratee relationship.

Poe draws attention of the readers to the way, in which the narrator describes the smallest details related to the incident. It is possible to argue that Montresor wanted to make a narratee feel a certain degree of guilt. The narrator has provided the information about the place. It is possible to track it to see whether Fortunato is still alive and help him. It is quite difficult to determine, which course of actions is the most appropriate in this situation. For example, a narratee who made a decision to keep the secret would have to handle constant thoughts about a man that has lost his life. What is more, the knowledge of all aspects of this crime makes the situation particularly fascinating since the thoughts become more depressing. Similarly, a narratee who decided to help Fortunato would be afraid of Montresor’s actions and other implications of this decision. Therefore, Poe creates an ethical dilemma involving a narratee. Furthermore, a person may think about possible approaches to solving the situation by looking for clues while reading the story. The fact that Poe does not specify who is a narratee is crucial since every individual may think of himself or herself as a person involved in this situation.

The narrator of The Great Gatsby also attempts to establish a close relationship with a narratee by discussing the smallest details related to these events. The fact that Nick provides his opinions on various situations is critical. It shows that he wants to share his thoughts with a narratee. It is understandable that one may argue that the writer has to provide detailed descriptions since they present a vital part of the literature. However, Fitzgerald understands that it is reasonable to use characters to narrate the stories. It helps to make them more realistic and relatable. It is clear that Nick wants to make sure that a narratee trusts him, and he manages to convince a reader that he is trustworthy. For instance, he states that “angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away”. Some of the events seem rather unrealistic but Nick’s description of every detail of the story suggests that a narratee can believe in his words.

Similarly, Montresor’s storytelling suggests that he wants a narratee to have complete understanding of the importance of this story. He provides explanations of his thoughts and feelings to demonstrate how he felt during committing crime. His tone claims that a narratee’s response is incredibly important. Therefore, Montresor makes an attempt to present his actions as dramatically as possible. One may argue that the character understands that this behavior was unreasonable but tries to justify his actions. It seems that he wants to convince both himself and a narratee that Fortunato deserved to die. “My heart grew sick; it must have been the cold” is the line that suggests that he did not realize that his actions disgusted him. It is clear that he was not capable of acknowledging his weakness. The character believes that his arguments are convincing, and another person would not panic after hearing this story. It seems that Montresor wants to live in an utopian world where nobody can insult him. What is more, he is willing to sacrifice the happiness of another person to protect himself while disregarding morality. In addition, he utilizes intimidation by showing that he is capable of committing atrocious crimes. Similarly to the narratees of Ursula L. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omela,” the readers of Poe’s story are aware of a challenging situation but have no choice but to live with this knowledge: “In modern social norms, if we know someone is in a poor situation, it is our duty to help him or her out”. Montresor may use it to his advantage since he and a narratee are the only two people who know the story of Fortunato. His actions suggest that he is an unreliable narrator, and it is paramount to listen to his words with skepticism. Therefore, the similarity between narrator/narratee relationships in these works is that narrators try to earn the trust of the narratees by sharing their emotions and feelings. However, Nick is much more reliable narrator, and it is easier to believe in his story.

In conclusion, it is clear that the narrator/narratee relationships in The Great Gatsby and “The Cask of Amontillado” are quite similar: the narrators are willing to share the information about the criminal activities with the narratees. The difference lies in the fact that unlike Montresor, Nick is much more trustworthy storyteller. People who hear these stories become involuntarily involved in their events even if they do not accept such a hard burden. Therefore, the narrators complicate these relationships every time they mention the details of criminal activities over the course of the stories. Overall, it is evident that the ways, in which the authors established relationships between the narrators and narrates, are quite similar in these works: the storytellers tell the readers secrets that change their lives.




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