Compare and contrast essay between two short stories

Compare and contrast essay between two short stories

Compare and contrast paper about two short stories Essay

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In the writings “A Description of New England” by John Smith and “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford, the tone of these two selections vary noticeably. Both authors use certain tones to attract and persuade certain audiences. John Smith wrote of what a wonderful place the New World was, while on the other hand Bradford wrote about the difficulties and realities of the New World. Author John Smith, a pilgrim who arrived in the Americas, writes a description of the new land. In “A Description of New England” he shows what a wonderful world of vast food and pleasure await. William Bradford, another pilgrim who arrived in Plymouth on the coast of Massachusetts, gives his take on the early settling of the new land. In “Of Plymouth Plantation” he writes a description of what really happened their, how the pilgrims actually lived.

In “A Description of New England,” Smith starts by describing the pleasure and content that risking your life for getting your own piece of land brings to men. He also implies that building your own house, planting your own crops, and having a “God’s blessing industry” would be easy to have without having any prejudice. He talks about the joy of erecting towns and then populating them. John Smith rarely mentions the Native Americans, but when he does he says that they are good people and that they helped them when the arrived. Smith also makes references to ways of profiting from daily activities such as hunting and farming.

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This is his way of persuading others to make a voyage to the New World. For example, John Smith states “For hunting … afford not only chase sufficient for any delight that in that kind of toil or pleasure but such beasts to hunt that besides the delicacy of their bodies for food, and their skins are so rich as may well recompense thy daily labor with a captains pay. By persuading others to come to the New World, it can also be seen that Smith expects to profit from these new settlers. John Smith appears to be directing his writing towards certain financial individuals wanting to invest in the new colonies.

In “Of Plymouth Plantation,” Bradford begins by reminding us how harsh and difficult the trip to the New World was for the pilgrims. He writes about the condition of the men who arrived to the shore. He also mentions that in the New World there was no one to welcome them, more over there was nothing to stay in, no houses and no inns. When William Bradford mentions the Native Americans, he says that they greeted them with arrows. Bradford also attempts to persuade others to visit the New World, with a religious approach. This attempt is made even though he does describe the difficulties in the New World. In Bradford’s eyes, had not the Puritan Pilgrims been graced by God then their long and demanding exploration, all would have been in vain.

Year after year Bradford keeps sight of the signs from God meant to help the Pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts. After years in the New World, Bradford talks of Squanto, the Indian, becoming “an instrument sent form God for their good. Then he goes onto compare the Pilgrim’s journey to the New World with the Israelites exodus from Egypt. It is clear to see that these religious references are used to persuade his audience to see the purity of the Pilgrim’s journey to Plymouth. William Bradford appears to be writing towards certain religious individuals who want to make a pilgrimage toe the new colonies.

Even though the tones of these two writings, “A Description of New England” by John Smith and “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford, vary distinctly, both authors attempt to persuade certain audiences. Smith attempts to persuade the financial advisors who wish to invest in the New World, while Bradford attempts to persuade the religious individuals to make a pilgrimage to the New World. Bradford wrote about the difficulties and realities of the New World, while Smith wrote about how wonderful the New World was. Pilgrim John Smith wrote a description of the new land in which he describes what an astonishing world of vast food and pleasure awaited others. Another Pilgrim, William Bradford, gave a different description of the new land. He gave a description of what really happened, of how the pilgrims really lived.

How to Write a Comparison Essay on Two Different Stories

When a teacher or professor asks you to compare two stories, this gives you the opportunity to experience the works in a new way. You can look closely at how a writer’s style conveys what is at stake in the story and the way each story connects with the reader. This close assessment will also help you discover what you appreciate in fiction. Knowing some of the components to evaluate in these stories will help you build your comparison essay.

Compare Plots

You can discuss the plot, which is what happens in each story. Even with many similarities, stories will vary in what actually takes place. For example, in one story the main character may take a trip and experience many setbacks before discovering her true desires, but in the other story the character may stay home and review his past to make himself stronger. Since someone reading your essay may not know the stories, starting the body of your essay with a discussion of these plot differences and similarities will also help ground the reader in each story, says Jeffrey Nealon and Susan Searls Giroux, authors of “The Theory Toolbox: Critical Concepts for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.”

Examine Characters

Another option is to compare the main characters. Look at dialogue, interactions and the decisions they make. You can also evaluate how believable each character seems and whether or not you relate to that character. Look at the side characters in the stories as well. Each character should seem believable and have a role in the story. You might choose to mention if a character doesn’t have a role in moving the story forward, such as evaluating if the story would remain the same if the character were there or not. Discussing these findings will help you compare how well characters work in each story, explains Janet Burroway in “Imaginative Writing.”

Consider Point of View

You can also compare the point of view the writers use to tell their stories. Whether each story’s narration comes from a first-person, second-person, or third-person point of view impacts the story, and this might provide an interesting comparison for the stories. For example, one story might have a first-person narrator, making you feel close to the characters. In comparison, a third-person story might create distance between you and the characters, making you feel less involved.

Evaluate Writing Styles

Take time to discuss each writer’s style throughout the story, evaluating concepts such as level of difficulty and your own enjoyment in reading the story. Consider the writers’ skills and how well they pull their stories together. You may like one writer better than the other, and Janet Burroway suggests you can discuss the reasons for this.


About the Author

Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.

Compare and contrast the two short stories

Extracts from this document.

Lamb to the Slaughter and Captain Murderer In this essay, I am going to compare and contrast the two short stories «Lamb to the Slaughter» and «Captain Murderer», picking out techniques used by the authors which make it different to a typical murder mystery. When one thinks of a murder mystery, one usually thinks of images like a large, stately home, a cunning butler, and a bloodstained candlestick, and an intelligent and observant detective with a comparatively incompetent sidekick. In the end, the detective solves the case, justice is done and the murderer is put behind bars. «Lamb to the Slaughter» and «Captain Murderer» both have the ingredients for a murder mystery, i. e. a murderer who is cold, calculating and a bit mad, but neither follow the traditional murder mystery style. «Lamb to the Slaughter» was written by Roald Dahl, in 1954. He is more famous for his children’s books, but has also written many short stories for adults, compiled in books such as «Tales of the Unexpected» and «Switch Bitch». In these books he writes about strange things happening to ordinary people. «Captain Murderer» was written by Charles Dickens, one of the literary greats, more well known for his adult books such as «Great Expectations» and «Hard Times» about British society before 1900. . read more.

The strange thing about Mary is that instead of reacting to the terrible crime she has committed, she merely says «alright, so I’ve killed him». the change in her character happens immediately at this point. «it was extraordinary now, how clear her mind became all of a sudden, she began thinking very fast». She doesn’t even mind that the death penalty is acceptable. This is not the general frame of mind of a loving housewife who just killed her husband. She is either completely in control of the situation, thinking ahead to how she is going to cover it up, or in shock and denial. I think it is a bit of both. The detectives run a rather disorderly case, and don’t find out who the murderer is. They are pretty sloppy — Mary manipulates them into having some whiskey, which limits their powers of deduction so that when they are eating the murder weapon, they don’t realise it. They don’t base any of their time at the house thinking about the other aspects of a murder case, such as the motive or how the murderer got into the house, they spend all of their time looking for the murder weapon. They also don’t pick up on Mary’s odd, manipulative behaviour. . read more.

They all marry him for his wealth and are expected to know how to make pies. «and if she couldn’t, by nature or education, she was taught.» To conclude, there are many similarities in the two stories. They are both untypical murder mysteries: in each, the wife kills the husband because of his cruel intentions; food plays a very dark and sinister role; both have what might be interpreted as a subtle, feminist subtext; there is a ritualistic element; both murderers get away with it; and both are written by authors writing differently to their normal style, and, particularly, context. There are also many differences between the two: one is a mock fairytale, told as though a child was reciting it. The other involves policemen trying to solve the case, which makes it more realistic. One features just one murder whereas the other has several. The heroine sacrifices herself in «Captain Murderer», whereas Mary is a more conniving character, and manages to evade capture. The murder she carries out happens on the spur of the moment, and may have been caused by a temporary loss of mental stability. In «Captain Murderer», the killing is done through a disturbing ritual, by a complete madman who undergoes no change in character. Descriptions of atmosphere, characters, and feeling are much more prominent in «Lamb to the Slaughter», whereas the main focus of «Captain Murderer» is on the story line and description of the ritual. . read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Roald Dahl section.