"The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe's and William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" are compelling murder stories, full of dynamic characters, vivid details, and compelling points of view. These two stories encompass the elements of plot, character, setting and point of view among others. Although the elements of the central theme of murder are different, these stories share other elements that make these stories unique.
In the short story "The Cask of Amontillado," Edgar Allan Poe sets up a basic plot structure which is the perfect example of a flashback. In the text, this strategy of plot structure is defined by "informing the reader of events that happened before the opening scene of a work." This is identified in "The cask of Amontillado" during the opening when Poe illustrates the anger and malice Montresor has for Fortunato. .
The overall effect this story has on the reader is one of suspense. "Brick by brick," the story is developed making you wonder if Fortunato was considering the possibility that this was some sort of joke. Poe's use of flashback is effective due to the questions the reader is forced to consider while the story is read. As the story concludes, we learn that this event took place a "half century" prior. The fact that Montresor is recounting this event 50 years later reiterates how Montresor is feeling, and how effective the use of flashback in this story is. It's been 50 years, and the only person who had to pay was the victim, Fortunato. .
In "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, symbols reinforce the themes of tradition vs. progress, decay and the passage of time, and love that is not returned. This is apparent in Faulkner's comparison of the death of Miss Emily to that of a fallen monument. This comparison sets the scene for the reader to view and imagine how the new and old collide in the south. In this story the new being Emily and the old, her restrictive father.