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Word Count: 392
What makes a story different from a tale lies in the authors choice of characterization When we have little physical detail about the character as is Hawthornes Young Goodman Brown and Poes The Cask of Amontillado the story becomes more of a tale In a tale it is possible to remove almost all of the physical detail about the character and still achieve the same effect If you remove the known detail what little there is in Young Goodman Brown it might have the same effect as A man walked into the woods This however cannot be achieved in Herman Melvilles Bartleby The Scribner If you remove the detail about the life of the narrator then you remove the essence of the story in itself In Bartleby The Scribner we are given enough detail about the characters that we are able to answer why a character thinks a certain way It is only through the details about the narrators business and the people that work for him that we can understand why Bartlebys behavior is so perplexing The details show how ordinary or plain the narrators life is until Bartleby arrives and seems to change everything The characters almost become real In The Cask of Amontillado we cannot attempt to understand why Montresor seeks revenge so badly we are just told that he does If the reader were given more insight into the relationship between Fortunato and Montresor then we might be able to understand why he seeks revenge Any physical detail given to us only serves what Poe calls the single effect We are told that Fortunato is wearing a jesters hat to point out that he is a fool adding to the humiliation to follow The fact that he is wearing the hat however does not give the reader any insight to his psychology Thus the characters become abstractions that exist only in our minds They do not have real life
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