Symbolism, Imagery, and Theme Compared Through the Stories “the Cask of Amontillado” and “the Scarlet Ibis”

1048 Words Apr 25th, 2011 5 Pages
Symbolism, Imagery, and Theme Compared Through the Stories “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Scarlet Ibis”

In “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Scarlet Ibis” dark symbols and tones shape the plot, which allows man’s inhumanity to man, as a theme, to be expected. Both authors use imagery to allow readers to paint a picture of each setting in their mind. Also, each author adds in many symbols to make a concrete object into an abstract idea. In “The Cask of Amontillado” written by Edgar Allan Poe and “The Scarlet Ibis” written by James Hurst symbols, imagery, and the theme of man’s inhumanity to man are used to uniquely explain each story line.

As the plot of “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Scarlet Ibis” unravel, both authors
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Imagery, just like symbolism, is used greatly in both “The Scarlet Ibis” and “The Cask of Amontillado”. Using imagery allows each reader to experience the surroundings, almost as if they were standing there. Most of “The Cask of Amontillado” has an eerie tone. As if something just wasn’t right. “…was a low moaning cry from the depth of recess.” (Poe 10) describes the spine-chilling nature of the catacombs. When Montresor finishes the wall in between Fortunato and himself, the tone only becomes more twisted and sinister. “Against the masonry I reerected the old rampart of bones.” (Poe 11) shows the deathly feeling of the catacombs. No life was to ever come survive there. In “The Scarlet Ibis” a tone of death and struggle seems to surround the entire plot also. “…[Doodle] began to try to move himself, straining terribly.” (Hurst 555). In that scene, the reader sees Doodle making a great effort to do simple tasks. Throughout his life, Doodle made a great effort, which later killed him. “Its long, graceful neck jerked twice into a S, the straightened out, and the bird was still.” (Hurst 562) When the Scarlet Ibis flew into the tree outside Doodle and Brother’s home and died, the plot took on a mournful tone, which led on to the day Doodle died. The imagery in both stories is very dark sometimes. Both Poe and Hurst use words to describe death in some places and the cruelty a human can place on another.

Man’s inhumanity to man is displayed

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