1. Stephen King’s “Dolan’s Cadillac” was advertently inspired by Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.” Because of this inspiration; “Dolan’s Cadillac” is similar to Poe’s piece both in theme and via some more direct references. In both story’s, the main theme is that the main character receives or perceives a wrong-doing. They use this wrong to justify some revenge, which they carry out meticulously. The opening sentences are similar, “I waited and watched for seven years.” (King 1). In fact; the actual revenge is carried out in similar ways. This includes a conversation ending with something like “'For the love of God!' he shrieked. ‘For the love of God, Robinson!' 'Yes,' I said, smiling. 'For the love of God.'” (King 32). Each of which possibly serving as distraction for the main character, though they do seem willing to stop given certain criteria. The final part of Poe’s revenge scene soundly similar to King’s, “I put the chunk of asphalt in neatly next to its neighbor, and although I listened, I heard him no more.” (King 32). King certainly wasn’t trying to hide his inspiration.
Descriptive Sentence One: “Sometimes we worked on the Strip and I'd hear the sound of jackpot bells ringing in the casinos” (King 6).
Descriptive Sentence Two: “I had this funny idea, you see, that he was going to rise up from the back seat, his skin charred to a cinnamon color and stretched over his skull like the skin of a mummy, his hair full of sand, his eyes and his Rolex watch glittering.” (King 34)
2. Is Robinson Insane? The text would justify claiming that he in fact is insane. We don’t know much about Robinson’s mental health, but we know it started deteriorating after the death of his wife which is when he started stalking Dolan. “He did not know I was watching him - I never came close enough for him to know that. I was careful” (King 1). This premeditation points to sociopathy, with sociopathy being a form of insanity in my book, at least under the colloquial meaning. An added clue to his insanity is the fact that a part of his twisted thought process is an inner dialogue involving a whole slew of characters which exist (or at least his idea of them do) solely in his head. One example of this is, “Please, Elizabeth whispered back.Please ... for me.” (King 17). If I failed to provide proper context, this sentence is Robinson’s idea of Elizabeth convincing him to continue his body breaking work at any cost. This may not be straight up hallucination, but the fact that this man is being convinced by a conversation he is having with an inner portrayal of his now long dead wife to carry out his elaborate plan, checks multiple boxes under my definition of insanity. If one does not agree that Robinson is insane at least by the end of this story, then they must have a very different definition of the word insanity.
King, Stephen. Dolan's Cadillac. Northridge, CA: Lord John, 1989. Print.