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The most obvious similarity between the two stories is the theme of murder. In "TCOA", we learn immediately about the intentions of Montresor--to kill his enemy, Fortunato. It is only at the end that we find out the true manner in which Fortunato will meet his end. In "TMDG," the hunting and killing of animals is discussed from the start; only during the middle passages of the novel does the reader learn about General Zaroff's new kind of prey--the human kind--and it is not until the end of the story that we learn of the unusual twist that Rainsford is able to deliver. Both of the protagonists, Montresor and Rainsford, commit murder in the end, though both of them justify their actions as a form of deserved revenge, and both of the victims--Zaroff and Fortunato--meet their deaths unexpectedly. Other themes that can be found in both stories are those of "Violence and Cruelty" and "Revenge."
Both stories have unusual settings: "TMDG" is set on a mysterious island in the Caribbean, while most of "TCOA" takes place in the eerie darkness of the Montresor family catacombs. There are limited characters in both stories: Montresor and Fortunato are the only characters who appear in the Poe story, while Zaroff and Rainsford are the only major characters to emerge in "TMDG." All of these characters are wealthy and privileged men, spoiled by the finer things to be found in life.
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