The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg Essay

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In the following essay, Scherting asserts that Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" served as inspiration for Twain.

"I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world; we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial." These wellknown lines from Milton's Areopagitica (1643) may have provided Mark Twain with the thematic element for his story "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" (1899). But the structural similarities between Twain's story and Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" (1846) are close enough to suggest that Poe's work was a much stronger and more immediate influence.

In the first place, both tales concern men seeking revenge for some unspecified insult. Poe's narrator, Montresor, explains his motive: "The...

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This section contains 958 words
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