Poeand Jackson write their classic horror stories in different ways.This paper seeks to highlight those differences. By showing thecontrast in their techniques between Poe’s “The Cask ofAmontillado” and Jackson’s “The Lottery.” These differencesinclude the settings, motive, the point of view, and suspense.
Poeand Jackson’s settings are quite different. Poe’s setting is inthe evening, during the dark madness of Mardi Gras. In carrying outhis revenge, Montresor plans to bury Fortunato in his undergroundwine cellar or burial vault.(Poe).After meeting Fortunato in the streets, Montresor lures him to hisdark, isolated wine cellar to taste his new wine, the Amontillado.Montresor then proceeds to take him to his cold, dark andclaustrophobic vault filled with ancestral bones, chains, and hiddenvaults. On the other hand, Jackson’s “The Lottery” is set in abright, clear and sunny morning. It is full of warmth with theflowers blossoming and the grass greener than ever (Jackson). At ten o’clock, the villagers are meeting at the public square,between the post office and the bank.
Poe’sstory focusses on personal revenge as the motive for murder.Fortunato had spoken ill of the Montresor name, a family, old andhonored this act does not sit well with Montresor. He plans an actof vengeance against Fortunato. This time, he must pay dearly for hisinsults, die slowly and horribly. On the other hand, Jackson`s murderis grounded in tradition. The lottery is a yearly public event, andthe winner is stoned to death by the entire town, their only motivenot to change an ancient custom supposed guarantee crop prosperity.
Poe’sshort story is written in the first person narrative. With this pointof view, the reader can enter into the mind of the protagonist,Montresor and see how he plans his revenge step by step, how much heenjoys torturing Fortunato, and hearing his desperate cries formercy. Jackson writes in the third person. The narration tells thestory objectively, not getting inside the character’s heads anddescribing their thoughts, not wanting to alert the reader to thehorrible, shocking ending.
In“The Cask of Amontillado,” the first person point of view putsthe reader in the know from the beginning being inside Montresor’shead. As Montresor leads Fortunato down to the vaults, we alreadyknow the fate that awaits him. The only suspense is exactly howMontresor will carry out his terrible revenge. “The Lottery,” onthe other hand, is not easy to decipher from the start. It is achronological progression of events. From early morning we are givenfacts on how the lottery works as the day unfolds. One knows thecharacters better as we read their conversations, both amongthemselves and with Mr. Summers, the conductor. We do not know untilthe very end that the winner of the lottery will be stoned to death.
Theclassic horror stories, “The Cask of Amontillado” and “TheLottery,” show the difference between ’s writingtechniques. The two writers deliver their stories using differentsettings, motive, the point of view and suspense. Poe used the darkhours of Mardi Gras as the setting in “The Cask of Amontillado,”while Jackson used a bright sunny morning in “The Lottery.” Thesuspense and the motive behind the two murders are also different, InPoe’s story, it was based on personal revenge, and we knew from thebeginning, this was because the point of view used in the story wasin the first person. In contrast, Jackson’s story featured themotive behind the murder as tradition. We only come to know of thedeath at the end this was as a result of the third person point ofview used by the author.
Jackson,Shirley. TheLottery.Robinson, 1988. GoogleScholar.Web. 8 July 2016.
Poe,Edgar Allan. TheCask of Amontillado.The Creative Company, 2008. Print.