The second to last story we read, “Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood, and the final story we listened to by Dave Eggers had similar settings and themes. I also thought it was interesting to compare the reading and listening to see which story seemed the most mysterious or creepy purely based on the context it was understood in.
The similarities are as follows:
1. Both stories had nature and woodsy themes. “Death by Landscape” was set in a camp and the mysterious event took place on a cliff while they were on a canoe trip. You can really get a sense of the isolation and nature aspect while they are discussing the canoe trip. “It took them the same two days to go back that is had taken coming in” (pg. 343) suggests that they are far from any civilization and had to take two days just to get back and get the police. This is similar to Dave Eggers’ story when he discusses Francis’ situation. Francis was in a remote part of a park near a deep lake. She was completely alone when she rowed out to the center of the lake. Both stories have outdoor settings in fairly isolated areas.
2. The girls in the stories both mysteriously disappear. In “Death by Landscape”, Lucy screams and disappears after she was left alone to go to the bathroom. This is a mystery because we do not know if she fell (or jumped) off the cliff, she was kidnapped, or she disappeared by some supernatural force. The characters in the story never find out because neither they nor the police search team ever found evidence. In comparison, there is one piece of evidence in Dave Eggers’ story. “…on it were four words… They said, ‘I did knock first’” (pg. 2) Although this is a clue, it does not tell you what happened to Francis when she was out on the lake. It is quite the mystery because her disappearance seems to be the cause of something supernatural or something we would not be able to understand easily.
Through these similarities, both stories told a tale of a disappearance out in the wilderness. Based on the reading or listening contexts, I think that creepiest story was the one that was listened to. Dave Eggers’ voice portrayed his words in an ideal, mysterious way. The sound effects and pauses increased my anticipation and caused goose bumps to form when the knocking first occurred. It is quite the mystery and truly intrigues me in to wanting to know who was knocking and what happened to Francis.