This story is written like a detective story. It is very difficult to determine which woman is telling the truth and to determine if King Solomon is actually a bad person or a good person. It does not give the names of the women. They are simple referred to as one woman and the other woman. It does say that they were "harlots," but it does not give any background information about who the women are or how they got involved in this argument. They were simply two women in the same place that had babies at the same time.
Also, it is not clear to the reader rather King Solomon is a bad person or a good person. He does propose to slay the baby and divide it into two half to settle the argument, but upon hearing one of the women give and offer the baby to the other woman; King Solomon does not object or argue with them. He simple says ok. It is not clear as to rather he would have really killed the baby and divide it into two parts or not.
Although this story offers a problem and a solution to the problem, it does not contain vivid characterization. The characters are vague because no background information is provided. The reader does not know who is telling the truth and who is lying; and the reader does not know rather King Solomon is a bad person or not. It is lacking a lot of information that the reader would need to draw a conclusion about this short story. Since it is from the Hebrew Bible, prior pages may have offered this information, but from the way it is presented in the book, the reader does not have enough information about the character's background to come to a final conclusion.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was written in 1939 by James Thurber. This is a short story about Walter Mitty, who appears to be an older gentleman who has some psychosis. There is no type of psychosis mentioned in the story specifically, but it is a story about a man who thinks about events in his mind. Is it psychosis or envisions of his life before his execution. It is not clear if these events were actual events that occurred in his younger life; or if he has a very vivid imagination and is simple thinking of events as he makes them up in his mind.
Walter and his wife are on their way into town. Walter drops his wife off at the beauty salon and she tells him to go buy some shoe covers and dog biscuits while she is getting her hair done. While in the car with her husband, she notices his imagination and claims that he is sick. She does not know exactly what is wrong with him, but she does know that something is wrong.
Some of the things that Walter thinks about are the military, working in a hospital, being on trial and being sent to execution. In all of these thoughts, Walter sees himself as a leader in a tough situation. When he is reminiscing about the military, he is think about the navy breaking through and going forward. He is thinking about how fellow naval personnel are depending on him to get them through alive. When he is imagining himself as a doctor in the hospital performing surgery, he is also seeing himself as a leader that is needed to save a few lives. In his third vision, he sees himself on trail for a crime and his punishment is execution. In the third vision, he is not exactly a leader, but he is still in the main spotlight.
It is not clear in the story if Walter is making these thoughts up or if they were actual events that occurred to him and he is reliving them in his mind. It evidently is some sort of psychosis because his wife sees him as forgetful and irresponsible.
Before she leaves the car to get her hair done, she speaks to him as if he is going to forget. She wants him to buy shoe covers and dog biscuits. She is right. When Walter goes off to buy these things, he begins to reminisce again and forgets where he is going or what he is looking for.
Nevertheless, Walter does end up making it back to the beauty salon for his wife and he does eventually remember what he was sent to buy.
The story ends by Walter thinking about being executed by a firing squad. However, after rereading this story, I have to wander if Walter was really imagining being executed by a firing squad...
Many people say that right before you die, you see visions of your life. Maybe Walter was visioning his life before his execution. Maybe he was not really with his wife, but was also just thinking about her and a memory of her before he died on the firing squad. This is just a thought. The story never really gives any information of rather Walter has psychosis or if he is visioning his life during the last few moments of his life before his execution.
The Theme of Masonry in A Cask of Amontillado
The fundamental question in Edgar Allan Poe's "A Cask of Amontillado" is the nature of Montresor's motive for the revenge he "vowed" to obtain when Fortunato "ventured upon insult." Montresor believes a wrong is "unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong." While Montresor endeavors to make his vengeance known to Fortunato, the author's references to Masonry in his use of characterization, setting and irony indicate Montresor's motive.
Fortunato drinks a bottle of wine in a "gesticulation [Montresor] did not understand," a sign of the Masons, a secret society of which he affirms he is a member. This secrecy is emulated in Montresor's slaughter of his foe.
Montresor's deadly act, he himself, and ultimately Fortunato are shrouded in secrecy. Montresor's destruction of his foe is carried out at dusk. He leads Fortunato through the darkness "down a long and winding staircase" "into the inmost recesses of the catacombs" "at the most remote end of the crypt." Montresor dons an appropriate "mask of black silk" and wraps a "roquelaire closely about his person." Within this cloth is concealed a trowel, the instrument of Fortunato's destruction. Masonry is cloaked. The reader again sees this when presented the bones that "lay promiscuously upon the earth" beneath which lay the "building stone and mortar" that are used to forever seal Fortunato's fate. Montresor's use of secrecy in the destruction of his adversary is significant as it relates to Fortunato's status as a Mason.
A mason shrouds a Mason in masonry. In addition to this fundamental instance of situational irony, there is also a dramatic irony that Poe creates by allowing the reader to know Fortunato's ultimate destruction while Fortunato is entirely unaware. When Montresor asserts that he is indeed a mason (aware that he did not recognize the sign) the reader begins to realize what is to come. As he relates the motto of his Scottish arms: "No one insults me with impunity," the reader perceives that Montresor's vengeance may extend to the history of his ancestors, scorned by the brotherhood, to which Fortunato thinks only to reply, "Good!." As Montresor's ancestors have been condemned by the Masons, he will condemn a Mason with his own sort of masonry.
Poe informs the reader that Montresor wants to make himself known to Fortunato as an "avenger" of a "wrong." He had not before the night of his destruction, "by word or deed given Fortunato cause to doubt [his] good will." He must, therefore, disclose to Fortunato his motive on the night of his murder. As the reader is related the details of his execution, he or she can identify that the theme of Montresor's evil deed is Masonry, as a study of the characterization, setting, and irony makes especially obvious. By knowing that it is Montresor's goal to make himself known to Fortunato, it can only be concluded that it is Montresor's motive for committing the murder of his adversary.
In Mauassant's short story titled, "The Necklace," Matilda borrows a necklace from a rich friend names Mrs. Forestier. She borrowed this necklace so that she would not present a "shabby air in the midst of rich women." While she is in possession of the necklace, she loses it and refuses to admit her loss to her friend. Matilda and husband do not realize that the necklace is fake and they go out and buy a similar necklace to return to Mrs. Forestier. The new necklace is so expensive that they spend ten years to pay off the necklace. All of Matilda's actions leading up to the loss of the necklace were directed by an attempt to maintain her false sense of…
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