Ignorance and Greed Leads to a Quick Ending in Edgars Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado

Good Essays
Edgars Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado portrays two great examples of how greed and ignorance combined can lead to a quick ending, both physically and mentally. The story possesses two different aspects of an ending through two similar but yet different characters. Both characters possess the trait of greed, which hinders their ability to think rationally. The most obvious aspect of greed is carried out by Montresor, because this is a “short story of revenge.” He seeks to make Fortunato, the other character possessing the ignorant and greed trait, feel the pain that he has supposedly dealt onto Montresor. Throughout the book, one can experience how these two awful traits overtake them and eventually end their lives.
By focusing on Fortunato, one can see how ignorance and greed can lead to physical death. He is a man who is “rich, respected, admired, [and] beloved.” With this social status, he prides himself on being the best wine connoisseur. So, when Montresor came to him to identify this wine of Amontillado, he boasted that only he could correctly distinguish if it is or not. This was his first sign of greed, because Montresor stated that another wine connoisseur, Luchesi, could identify the wine if he did not want to. Fortunato responded by saying, “Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.” This statement shows how he believes that he is the best and that no other wine connoisseur can compare to his skills. His ignorance starts to show through his false exterior, and with Fortunato saying that he is the best, they venture down into the catacombs to see this precious wine. Now, even though the catacombs are where wine is usually kept, they go extraordinarily deep into them. Fortunato does not even notice the protr...

... middle of paper ...

...rily have to be death like Fortunato or a mental break down like Montresor, but even something as simple as the ending of social skills or a job. If one is ignorant and greedy, they probably will not listen to others or cooperate with them. These types of people will quickly lose support and anyone wanting to work with them, resulting in an end to relationships. People need to control these traits, because ignorance and greed are two natural human tendencies that are very destructive and can lead to an ultimate ending.

Works Cited
Gruesser, John. "Poe's The Cask of Amontillado." The Explicator 56.3, 1998: 129-130.
Platizky, Roger. "Poe's The Cask of Amontillado." The Explicator 57.4, 1999: 206-209.
Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Cask of Amontillado." In Introduction to Literature, by Sylvan Barnet, William Burto and William Cain, 180-185. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006.
Get Access