Poe, Ciardi, and Lynch seem to feel a distaste or antipathy towards a person, place, or society. Ciardi seems to feel a certain distaste for the suburban life he has as well as the neighbors he has acquired. Lynch however appears to have a bitter tone towards social superiority in society. Poe paints a portrayal of a character that has a fascination and bitter resentment towards a friend. Together these three authors seem to expose resentment and bitterness towards a certain disposition of a person, place, and even society as a whole.
Ciardi creates a poem of continuous dialogue but also includes his narrators thought which reveal the slight annoyance he has towards both his neighbor and the suburbs in general. He thinks in the second stanza to make a joke of the whole thing because his dog couldn’t possibly be culpable for but refrains in order to appease the normal suburban response. He fights his natural urge to defend himself to keep the idealistic nature of the suburbs in place when he knows that the claim his neighbor makes has no truth. Her presumptuous nature leads to make a conclusion that is inaccurate but Ciardi’s narrator takes it upon himself to allow her to live in ignorance, just as he has chosen with him son. His narrator also appears to mock him in the last stanza by glorifying the dog’s excretion when he inadvertently acknowledges she could have as easily cleaned it up as he did. His words have an underlying bitter tone that seems directed at not just his neighbor but also the suburbs in general. He appears to be unhappy with the interactions faced and wishes that he could put his thoughts he voiced in his second stanza into practice but because you are suppose to act a certain way in the suburbs he cannot risk going against the norm despite his aversion towards his neighbor.
Just like Ciardi creates a sense of distaste so does Lynch. Although Lynch’s distaste goes beyond just one person but seems to fall under a broader category of those who have a higher social standing then him. The narrator of Liberty has a more apparent aggression then the narrator of Suburban. He insinuates that society is so conforming that they even control where someone can go to the bathroom. The title seems to be mocking that in fact we claim to be free but society is under so many restrictions that we are constricted more then we are free. However, it seems that Lynch’s narrator isn’t excepting of this lack of freedom and it appears he will not resent the lack of freedom anymore, as he will take the liberty he was promised. Unlike Ciardi’s narrator he decides to not conform to society and stop being bitter by doing what he wants to do. Overall he seems to be unaccepting of his bitterness and chooses to do something about it just as the narrator in The Cask of Amontillado.
Of the three selected narrators Montresor is the most bitter. He goes so far as to plot the revenge of a man for a crime we never learn. He is manipulative and calculating in his revenge for his bitterness. He is very unlike the narrator in Suburban who despite his distaste seems to have no desire to reciprocate in rudeness. Montresor vows to not let anyone get away with impunity therefore exacting his revenge of bitterness. He is so calculating that he pretends to engage in friendly interactive conversation with Fortunato, which lures him into his death. Montresor takes his bitterness to the extreme when he seemingly buries Fortunato alive to exemplify himself from the resent he feels. It doesn’t seem to have worked however as he lived fifty years before reliving and telling the story of Fortunato and his bitterness is still prominent in his tone of the short story.
Unlike the narrator of Montresor, during meditation this week I learned to be more like the narrator of Suburban who learns to let it go rather than focus on something that makes you unhappy. I have acknowledged that there will always be something that bothers you to the point of distaste or bitterness but it is important to let go of those things in order to achieve happiness within yourself. And although we face restrictions on freedoms, just as those faced in Liberty but in order to deal with it you must reflect like we are encouraged in the Jesuit tradition.