“The Cask of Amontillado” Essay

“The Cask of Amontillado” Essay

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I cannot begin talking about “The Cask of Amontillado” without first mentioning its author, Mr. Edgar Allen Poe and his unique style of writing. Poe’s style of writing is described as “Dark Gothic.” Poe uses irony to create a comedic effect which only foreshadows the horror ahead; his short story writing still giving readers the full effect of the story; Poe felt a story should be read in one sitting, with each event occurring in order keeping with the storyline as he states in his essay “The Philosophy of Composition.” His use of imagery and symbolism putting pictures in our minds leaving us in suspense; the unreliable narrator, clearly in an effort to substantiate his sanity is definite verification of his insanity. Poe’s immense use of never ending dramatic irony grabs the reader from beginning to end in “The Cask of Amontillado.”

I will begin with a short summary. The story is told by Montresor, the protagonist in the story. He is a cold-blooded killer who leads his friend, Fortunato to his death. He guides Fortunato down to the burial place of his ancestors. He traps him, padlocks him, chains him, and buries him alive. As we begin the narrative is definitely first person, featuring our very “unreliable narrator”, Montresor. The fear he has placed within us as he tells us the story of this heinous crime he has committed against his friend fifty years prior to the story’s telling. Montresor said he wanted to punish with impunity, so he does not wish to face any unpleasant consequences. In his own words, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could…I vowed revenge.”
This plot of revenge is clearly stated, the motive for revenge is unclear. This alone makes us distrust the narrato...

... middle of paper ...

...udacity to say, “In pace requiescat!” Rest in Peace? I cannot imagine the torture Fortunato experienced being buried and burned alive.
The style of the story is somewhat discombobulating, but this is Poe’s signature to the work. These ultimately mind contorting work grabs the attention from the reader in the opening line. The “Cask of Amontillado” is not written in a simple manner; if it were then it could not have been written by Edgar Allen Poe. Overall, the story is filled with irony, symbolism and imagery, embedded in a plot. Essentially, the story completely revolves around the components of irony. As disturbing as the story ends, the reader encounters a myriad of foreshadowing elements, and although we know how the story ends Poe still leaves us with bewilderment and unanswered questions buried within the story that can never be fully answered.

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