Use of the Single Effect in A Cask of Amontillado Essay

Use of the Single Effect in A Cask of Amontillado Essay

Length: 730 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



Use of the Single Effect in A Cask of Amontillado 

Edgar Allan Poe's "A Cask of Amontillado" is perhaps the most famous tale of terror ever written. Montresor, the story's narrator, leads the reader through his revenge on Fortunato. Montresor entices Fortunato into the dark recesses of the family catacombs with the promise of a very fine wine. At the climax of the story, Montresor shackles Fortunato to a wall and seals him away forever behind brick and mortar. In all of Poe's short stories he attempts to convey "a certain unique or single effect." "A Cask of Amontillado" expresses its dark view of human intention by using elements of irony, foreshadowing, and metaphor. The first person point of view also lends itself to an exploration of the inner secrets of Montresor.

The major theme in the story is the deep hatred buried within the outwardly congenial Montresor. This makes it vital that the story be told with Montresor's thoughts known to the reader. The tale simply would not work if it were told from Fortunato's point of view, or from a dramatic/objective angle. An omniscient view would function, but by knowing only Montresor's thoughts the reader develops a trust in him, and this causes the story's theme to have a more personal effect on the reader.

"A Cask of Amontillado" is replete with ironic statements and situations. Fortunato's very name is ironic given his horrific fate. At the beginning of the story, when Montresor divulges his theories on proper revenge, he says, "A wrong is unredressed when retibution overtakes its redresser." This is ironic (and a bit amusing) as Montresor is utterly consumed by his hatred of Fortunato. Then, during their descent into the catacombs, Montresor tries several times to con...


... middle of paper ...


...ontresor's sociable facade, then the catacombs below symbolize the hate within him. Poe gives explicit descriptions fo the foul caverns. They are "insufferably damp . . . encrusted with nitre." The "founess of the air" nearly extinguishes their torches. Poe describes the "white web-work which gleams from these cavern walls." Clearly Poe's desired efect is to expose the evil that consumes from within.

Each of the literary devices used in "A Cask of Amontillado" serves to reinforce Poe's single effect. As Poe himself says in "The Importance of the Single Effect in a Prose Tale," an author "invents such incidents--he then combines such events as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect." The use of the first person perspective along with some irony, foreshadowing, and metaphor aid the delivery of Poe's single effect in "A Cask of Amontillado."

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Black Cat And The Cask Of Amontillado Essay

- 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....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado]

Better Essays
1029 words (2.9 pages)

The Cask of Amontillado Essay example

- The Cask of Amontillado Irony and symbolism are tools used in writing to convey individual messages throughout the story. It is Edgar Allan Poe’s intense use of symbolism and irony throughout the Cask of Amontillado that gives this short story its suspense and horror filled theme. The Cask of Amontillado is a horror short story, which revolves around the themes of revenge and pride. The plot involves two men: Montresor, the narrator, who is an Italian aristocrat seeking revenge against the second main character: Fortunato, a proud man that flaunts about his knowledge of wines and who finally walks into his own death....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
865 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis Of ' The Tell Tale Heart ' And The Cask Of Amontillado ' By Edgar Allan Poe

- Today in modern literature, Edgar Allan Poe is regarded to be one of the founding fathers of the short story. His literature is perceived as having been instrumental in the development of both the gothic horror and detective narrative genres. This is emphasised by his influences on both the highly popular horror and mystery film/novel genres in today’s culture. In the midst’s of his career, after having constructed the highly successful poem ‘The Raven’ in 1845, Poe created ‘The Philosophy of Composition’ in 1846: a publicly released criterion for creating, in his mind, the perfect piece of fiction....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story, Fiction]

Better Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

Poe's Theory and Practice Reflected in The Cask of Amontillado Essay

- Poe's Theory and Practice Reflected in The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allan Poe, author of "brilliant reviews, poems, and stories," was born in 1809, and sadly died, a young man, in 1849 (665). To truly understand Poe, one must note the time period in which he wrote. It was an age of Literary Realism and Dark Romanticism, which was Poe's arena. The concept of "New Literary Criticism" was not yet mainstream. However, Poe was a critic as well as an acclaimed author. By observing the talents that Poe admired in the writings of others, one may better understand the inner workings of Poe's infamous short stories....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Better Essays
1093 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Cask Of Amontillado By William Shakespeare

- Pride can often prove to be one of a man’s biggest downfalls. This is extremely evident throughout the entire story of The Cask of Amontillado in several ways. One of the most evident ways the theme of pride is shown is through the character of Montresor himself. When his friend Fortunato insulted him, Montresor’s extreme self-pride led him to seek revenge in a great way. Also, the theme is shown through Fortunato because Montresor is able to play off of Fortunato’s pride by promising him a cask of Amontillado, even though it is merely nonexistent....   [tags: The Cask of Amontillado, Nemo me impune lacessit]

Better Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

The Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allen Poe Essay

- "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allen Poe Introduction I choose "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allen Poe, for a few reasons. First, Poe was a superb technician and thought quite carefully about how to use various literary techniques. Next would be that the story is short and easily readable and understandable. Edgar Allen Poe became we know about his writing process that was deliberately and self-consciously concerned with the writing technique. He carefully planned his work and thought about how each part should be written to achieve a particular effect....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado]

Better Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Jonathan Montresor 's ' The Amontillado '

- spanish sherry. Montresor uses deception by assuring the amontillado is being held in the Montresor family catacombs. Montresor’s ability to find the weakness of his enemy and carry out a plan accordingly shows the wicked horror in which the way the narrator thinks. Therefore, making the reader horrified and uplifting the dark tone of the story. Another occurrence that helped uplift the mood was Montresor’s toast to Fortunato 's “long life.” “ Here I knocked off the neck of the bottle..”’drink”’ he said....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado]

Better Essays
1553 words (4.4 pages)

Single Sex Education : Single Gender Education Essay example

- Single sex education, also known as single-gender education, is the practice of conducting education where male and female students attend separate classes or in separate buildings or schools. The practice was common before the nineteenth century, particularly in secondary education and higher education. Single-sex education in many cultures is advocated on the basis of tradition as well as religion, is practiced in many parts of the world. Recently, there has been a surge of interest and establishment of single-sex schools due to educational research....   [tags: Education, High school, Single-sex education]

Better Essays
1164 words (3.3 pages)

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe In ?The Cask of Amontillado?, Edgar Allan Poe takes us on a trip into the mind of a mad man. Poe uses certain elements to convey an emotional impact. He utilizes irony, descriptive detail of setting, and dark character traits to create the search of sinful deceit. Poe also uses first person, where the narrator is the protagonist who is deeply involved. The purpose is to get the reader to no longer be the observer. He wants them to see with Montressor?s eyes, hear with his ears, and to react as he would....   [tags: Papers Essays Poe Amontillado]

Better Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Single-Sex Schooling Essay

- School reforms are not a new concept or trend; they have been developing since our nation’s educational system was founded. School reforms are an attempt to make the education system better; in effect, making our children more prepared to compete globally. The school reform that I have decided to research is single-gender schooling. This is the idea that students perform better academically when they are in classrooms with only classmates of the same sex. I have only had one (experimental) class like this: my 6th-grade science class....   [tags: Single-Gender Classrooms]

Better Essays
2981 words (8.5 pages)