“We hear everyday of murders committed in the country. Brutal and treacherous murders; slow, protracted agonies from poisons administered by some kindred hand; sudden and violent deaths by cruel blows, inflicted with a stake cut from spreading oak whos every shadow promised peace” (51).
In class, we talked about the narrator possibly being Robert, and if that’s true, he seems like he put a lot of thought into this. He seems like he is going to or has committed a murder in the country in the past; if he has, he is describing what exactly he did word for word, therefore exposing himself. He comes off as a kind-ish person until he gets angry, which is where the “cruel blows” line could come from. Yet the first line suggests that even in anger, there is some enjoyment in the very act of murdering someone, almost like the art of it via describing the process. Furthermore, the repeated references to the kind of “sudden and violent deaths” and the different ways that they can be committed showing that he has put thought into the effectiveness of these methods. One section of the quote that attracted my attention was “Protracted agonies from poisons administered by some kindred hand.” If we are going with the idea that Robert is the narrator, he is saying that he has the intention or thought to poison someone, and that person would not expect it because it would be from a “Kindred hand.” Contrasting this, someone dying from a “Stake cut from spreading oak.” indicates his descent into more madness than a cold, calculated, murderous plan. Lastly, I honestly think that the last line shows his regret, that he reflected on either his past brutal endeavors or his dark, murderous thoughts and how either one frightens him.