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An Analysis of the Functions of the Point of View in Two Short Stories: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner and The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
Word Count: 716
A Deadly Point of View The most important element of a short story is the point of view The point of view can make or break a character It can also help the reader determine and understand the minds of the characters In A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner and The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe the protagonists of the stories commit crimes that go virtually unpunished In these stories the point of view helps the reader determine how much is known about the characters motives the basic circumstances of the crime and how the characters justify the crime One function of the point of view is to allow the readers a chance to see the motives of the murder In A Rose of Emily a narrator who is a minor character in the story tells the story in first person The narrator never knows the thoughts or feelings of Emily So like the townspeople in the short story the readers are on the outside speculating what Emily is thinking Because of the point of view that is in use Emilys motives are never clearly shown to the reader The audience can only guess that because Homer is not a marrying man Emily kills him to keep him with her Faulkner 32 In The Cask of Amontillado on the other hand the story is told in first person participant so the reader knows everything the narrator is thinking The reader knows for a fact that the reason Fortunato is going to be killed is because he ventures upon insult and Montresor vows revenge Poe 1 Another function of the point of view in these short stories is to allow the reader to see the basic circumstances of the crime In A Rose for Emily the reader is once again part of the outside circle The reader does not clearly see the circumstances revolving around the crime The reader just knows that
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