This essay will compare and contrast between the two short stories “Tell Tale Heart” and “Desert Pick-Up”, one is told in first person and the other in third person. These two stories are dark tales and both the main characters commit the same crime. Murder. Also certain characters lose their sanity, which in one case is the result of an encounter with the police which took place in both stories. The other was a woman who could not contain her madness. Firstly, both short stories contain murder. In the “Tell Tale Heart” the man who hated the old man’s evil eye has a split personality.
During the day he acts nice and pleasant towards the elderly man, like a wolf in sheeps clothing, while at night he looks upon the old man at 12 midnight as he sleeps staring at the “evil eye” with his lantern trying hard not to wake him. He does this for 8 nights straight and on that 8th night, he murders the old man. In the “Desert Pick-up” a man who was picked up earlier in the story as he was hitch hiking got ditched in the desert. After some luck a woman came to his aid and picked the man up offering a ride.
They engage in conversation while driving along the road and she states that she wants to dig up cacti and that it isn’t legal to do so. The man insists he helps. She then pulls over some way down the road and they have a picnic. After the picnic they walk around looking for a cactus. As she’s bent over looking at the cactus that the man pointed out, the man raises the shovel up and strikes it down on her head, killing her. He disposes the body in the desert. Later on you find out the woman has also killed someone. Secondly, in both these stories, characters lose their sanity over the course of its entirety.
In the “Tell Tale Heart” after the man has killed the old man, he hides the body under the floor boards. Unfortunately for the killer, later on that night police show up and they insist on searching the premises which he allows pleasantly. While they’re speaking the man begins to hear a faint ringing noise which gets progressively louder and louder as the conversation continues. To try to cover up the noise so the police do not hear he starts to talk louder, however the sound continues to grow which causes him to lose his sanity in fear because he thinks they can hear it and that they know, so he confesses to the authorities in a panicky ashion where he is keeping the old man’s corpse. In the “Desert Pick-Up” while the man is being helped by police, because of his flat tire, they check the trunk for a spare tire and find the body of the woman’s husband who he had just killed. The woman’s husband, as you learn earlier in the story, cheated on her and she says “It is the worst mistake of his life”, which makes you believe that she went crazy when hearing the news and murdered her husband and was not actually looking for cacti after all, merely a place to hide the evidence.
Lastly, both stories represent karma in their own way. In the “Desert Pick-Up” it is a clear indication of karma because the husband got killed ‘for’ cheating, the woman got killed ‘for’ killing her husband, and the man got caught with murder of the husband ‘because’ he killed the head husband’s wife. In the “Tell Tale Heart” the old man’s evil eye really seemed to bother the man which lead him in to trouble, the case being murder.
And the man got his end of karma because a noise kept bothering him when he was trying to conceal the body in front of the authorities which lead him also into trouble, his case a lot better only being trouble with the police. This sums up this essay comparing the two short stories “Tell Tale Heart” and “Desert Pick-Up”. The points mentioned the comparison that murder occurred in both stories, also that some characters went insane due to different reasons. Another point was that karma was represented in both stories however one being a more clear representation while the other is somewhat hidden.