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Analysis “A Loaf of Bread” and “The Cask of Amontillado”


“A Loaf of Bread” by James McPherson and“The Cask of Amontillado”  by Edgar Allan Poe share a different story with the same message and theme to some extent. The main theme that connects both of these short stories is the change in personalities of human being slowly and gradually. One story belongs to a man whose good nature is overtaken by excessive selfishness. One of the themes of “The cask of Amontillado” is betrayal where the author has shown the betraying nature of an individual. “A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser.” (Poe)

Harold owns three grocery shops in three different cities. His family includes a wife and two children. Harold is accused of selling goods and merchandise in cheaper prices in the neighborhood which belonged to the white people than he was selling in African American community. Throughout the story, Harold is tenacious and determined not to lower the prices as the people demanded, but his nature and personality changes gradually towards the end of the story. The decisions a human face in his/her life has an impact on both themselves and the people surrounding them. Decision making is very important. The right choices matter, for instance, Harold in “A Loaf of Bread” had to choose whether to sustain prices or bring them down for the sake of his family. Thus, making the right choice can substantially change the fate. It is an option which one has to decide, whether to make it or break it. This part here matches with the story of “The cask of Amontillado” where a person put on a personality mask and then changes it to put on another in order to trick, deceive, surprise, and betray other people.

In the story, “The cask of Amontillado”, we see a conspiracy here by the author. In this case, Montresor becomes hostile towards Fortunato and eventually cheats over him by misleading him. He uses false means such as chains and locks him in a dungeon. So that he could expire there. When he is misleading Fortunato he reveals a diversion in his overall personality and this results in a change in perception about him.
Hence in a nutshell, “A Loaf of Bread” and “The Cask of Amontillado” both showing how the personality is changed in order to achieve, gain, or lose things. People in this world are more likely to betray and deceive other people for their advantage.

Work Cited:
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Cask Of Amontillado. 1st ed. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center, 1993. Print.

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