The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow And The Cask Of Amontillado Analysis

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In Washington Irving 's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and Edgar Allan Poe 's "The Cask of Amontillado," Brom Bones and Montresor take self-preservation to a far extreme. This idea of protecting one 's self and preserving one 's ability to achieve a certain status at any cost becomes a dark, greedy American ideal. At the beginning of both stories, Brom 's desire to destroy any suitor 's hopes of winning Katrina and Montresor 's joking tone leaving Fortunato unknowing of his fate reduce any chance of objection to their plans. As the narratives progress, both utilize their charming, American qualities to get society and the reader on their side, making themselves a hero. Towards the resolution of both short stories, Brom and Montresor 's societies …show more content…
Towards the end in Irving 's narrative, Brom basically admits his guilt of hitting Ichabod Crane with a pumpkin: "Brom Bones, too, who shortly after his rival 's disappearance conducted the blooming Katrina in triumph to the altar, was observed to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related" (Irving 38). Brom appears "exceedingly knowing" and wins his prize in Katrina from his main rival in Ichabod. The people of Sleepy Hollow make an extraordinary effort to lie to themselves through their lack of prosecution of Brom 's crimes so that their hero remains the ideal. In Montresor 's community, society remains ignorant because everyone 's main concern consists of pleasure at the carnival: "There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time. I had told them that I shall not return until the morning" (Poe 5). The servants spend as much as time as possible at the carnival to become "merry" and do not account for Montresor 's strange behavior of skipping the carnival itself. This lack of questioning and activity from the servants stems from a combination of gaining pleasure at the carnival and fear of enraging Montresor. While partying and relaxing are all great for the individual 's self-preservation, excessive amounts of time hinder the accountability for the common good and well-being of society in general. Through society 's fear of disrupting the powerful, American society finds itself in a struggle between self-preservation and the creation of a better place for all to live. When individuals become the American ideal by abandoning their morals and using a win at all costs mentality, the intelligence and success of the community dwindles along with the people 's

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