When reading the four works of literature it was obvious that there was a definite separation in theme, tone and topic. One main topic being American culture where: Barbara Hamby’s, “Ode to American English” and Tony Hoagland’s “America”
clearly demonstrates their opinion of American society. The other topic of murder caused by jealousy and misconception can be represented in both “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning.
The two readings: “Ode to American English” and “America”, there are two different perspectives of one major topic, American culture. Hoagland shares major aspects of the present day American society. Slowly he moves to show how all of these aspects are meaningless and not important to life. He grabs the reader in the beginning by finding something they can relate to, present day society, and then slowly shows the reader his thoughts of society as a whole. On the other side, Hamby is enthralled with American language and its informal ways. I see a connection that Hamby makes with the language and society, being that language is a major part in a community, I feel that she is using language as a symbol of the American culture. She talks about the slang and language of Americans, and when you look at her word choice she uses many literary devices to help portray her emphasis on language. After reading the introduction about both authors I feel that Hamby has more of an appreciation towards America because she is in Paris missing the culture while Hoagland is stuck in America surrounded by a society that doesn’t appreciate what’s in front of them.
In “The Cask of Amontillado” and “My Last Duchess” a brutal murder of jealousy and miscommunication occurs. Whether it is a lover or a new found enemy both murders are the main character in the writing. Either a ‘cheating’ lover or an enemy of deceit, both murders were done out of revenge and anger. The misconception of a cheating lover resulted in her death in “My Last Duchess”, while Fortunate is murdered do to jealousy and revenge from Montresor. Both murders are doubtful, jealous, and misinterpreting what is going on around them. Again in both cases the narrator/speaker, seems to be unstable. The rambling stanzas of “My Last Duchess” make me read it as if it was a short narrative, with choppy sentences.