Theme Of The Black Cat And The Cask Of Amontillado

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Edgar Allan Poe is one of America’s most celebrated classical authors, known for his unique dealings within the horror genre. Poe was a master at utilizing literary devices such as point of view and setting to enhance the mood and plot of his stories leading to his widespread appeal that remains intact to this day. His mastery of aforementioned devices is evident in two of his shorter works “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado”. The mood of a story is incredibly important, and Poe was no stranger to this fact. He often created sinister or even cryptic moods through the use of his language and descriptions. But perhaps most influential in the development of the mood of his stories was the point of view from which the story was told.…show more content…
In “The Cask of Amontillado” it is safe to assume that Montresor suffers no repercussions for his entrapment of Fortunato. Perhaps he experiences a fleeting sense of guilt that he expresses through his retelling of his quest for revenge, but there is not much else within the story that would suggest Montresor experienced any other form of punishment. In “The Black Cat” however, the reader is immediately made aware that the narrator is suffering for his crimes. The narrator plainly states that he is on death’s row and that the actions that he engaged in have caused him great suffering. If the actions of Montresor and our anonymous narrator of “The Black Cat” had been committed today, would they be excused on the grounds of insanity? There is little evidence to suggest that Montresor was not mentally stable. Of course, to be able to partake in such an extreme act of vengeance one must be disturbed in some way or another. But without proper causation, there would likely be no excuse. As for the narrator of “The Black Cat”, the insanity defense might be used to some extent to explain his actions and motives for his violent crimes. The narrator was affected by alcoholism early in the story and was not in his right mind. He stated that he tried to resist the urges of violence within himself, but ultimately could not. Because of the narrator’s conflicting emotions and the heavy
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