Class And Power In Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado

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In The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe uses wine to show a class and power struggle between Montresor and Fortunato and the strong emotions that are tied to wealth in Italy around the 18th century. Class differences are clearly at play during Montresor’s revenge against Fortunato with Fortunato being higher up on the social ladder. The first lines that really show a class difference come towards the bottom of page 179 when Montresor says he had gotten Amontillado and Fortunato replies, ““How?” said he. “Amontillado, A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival"" "I have my doubts," I replied; "and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I…show more content…
If anyone has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me --” and Fortunato replies, “Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherr” (pg.180). Fortunato is so obsessed with being the top wine connoisseur, the man who is trusted to be an expert that at the whiff of…show more content…
Fortunato has previously had more power over Montresor and the entirety of The Cask of Amontillado is the shifting of power from Fortunato to Montresor and this is all shown through wine. One way Poe shows the shifting balance of power is through the amount of wine Montresor drinks, one of the best quotes to represent this is when Fortunato and Montresor are walking through the wine cellar and Montresor pulls a wine bottle from a row and writes, ““Drink,” I said, presenting him the wine. He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me familiarly, while his bells jingled” (181). The bells jingled is a nod to the jester 's costume that Fortunato is wearing and the jingling of the bells while Fortunato is taking a drink symbolizes how he is becoming more and more of a fool. The more drunk fortunato is, the less power he has compared to Montresor. Another example of Poe using wine to show the transfer of power is a few lines down when he writes. “The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc. We had passed through long walls of piled skeletons, with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the catacombs” (181). Again Poe uses both wine and the jingling of the bells to capitalize on how Fortunato is being duped. There is also a lot of foreshadowing her because the walls are piled with skeletons, but fortunato is not able to
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