How are Emily in "A Rose for Emily" and the narrator from "The Tell-Tale Heart" similar? I'm writing an essay comparing and contrasting the two stories and how their deisres led them to murder. Just looking for a little insight, or extra help brainstorming. Thank you. :)

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

You might also look at how both murders were discovered.  In "The Tell-Tale Heart", the killer gives himself away because he believes they can hear the heart beating below the floor boards.  In "A Rose for Emily", the murder is discovered after the death of Miss Emily because the corpse is in a bed beside her hair on a pillow.  As post 2 mentions, both corpses were left in the house.  It would be interesting to compare the reactions of these characters to people's suspicions.  Emily purchases lye to deal with the smell while the character in "The Tell-Tale Heart" reveals his crime to his accusers.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Yes, an interesting comparison! I think the main comparisons would have to be the way that both show themselves to be not truly sane through their actions of murder. Both also have highly interesting motives for carrying out the murder, as the narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart" tells us that he loves the old man and it is not personal, and in "A Rose for Emily," Emily kills Barron to keep him because she loves him.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I've never compared these two characters before, but here goes:

  • The narrator of  "The Tell-Tale Heart" is obviously mad. Miss Emily had a history of mental illness in her family, and she may have suffered from it herself.
  • Both of them kill a man they profess to love.
  • Both of the murders are eventually discovered--Emily's only much later, after her death.
  • Both of the bodies are disposed of within the house.
  • Both of them live in old houses owned by two "old men" (in Emily's case, her father).
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial