Analysis Paper “The Cask of the Amontillado” By Edgar Allan Poe
- General information concerning the story
II. BODY PARAGRAPH 1:
- Opening Sentence: However, the subject matter, the murder, of Poe’s story, The Cask of Amontillado is supposed to be not a tale of detection as there is no investigation of Montresor’s crime and the murderer himself depicts how he committed this.
- Detail 1: the secret of story.
- Detail 2: description of two main heroes.
- Detail 3: writer’s own experience in the story.
III. BODY PARAGRAPH II:
- Opening Sentence: There is an intense application of symbolism and irony in the whole story of The Cask of Amontillado that makes the short story as an exciting candidate deserving the thorough analysis.
- Detail 1: the term irony.
- Detail 2: the apparition of irony in the plot.
IV. BODY PARAGRAPH III:
- Opening Sentence: As mentioned before, The Cask of Amontillado should be considered as a piece of a horror story.
- Detail 1: Montresor as the unreliable narrator of the story.
- Detail 2: irony in names and costumes of the personages.
V. BODY PARAGRAPH IV:
Opening Sentence: One more concern that has to be analyzed if the story provides really a perfect crime.
Detail 1: catacombs as the perfect place for the crime.
Detail 2: essential symbolism of the story and the insane murderer.
Opening sentence: In the story, the scenery and circumstances of Montresor’s catacombs gives Montresor a place where he can murder his friend with almost no evidence on who murdered him, assisting his attempt at committing the perfect crime.
Closing sentence: Actually, the story is very intriguing as the mystery remains till the very end for the reader – what was the real purpose to kill Fortunado?
Body of the Essay
Introduction. The Cask of Amontillado is considered to be a short story that was written by E.A. Poe in 1846. The story takes place in an unknown Italian city in an unclear year and is telling about the deadly revenge committed by the narrator of the story under a friend whom he claims has insulted him.
Bodies of the Essay. However, the subject matter, the murder, of Poe’s story, The Cask of Amontillado is supposed to be not a tale of detection as there is no investigation of Montresor’s crime and the murderer himself depicts how he committed this. The secret of the story is hidden in Montresor’s motive to commit this murder. The reader himself should solve the mystery. The narrator’s motive for committing the crime is not clear other than the vague “thousand injuries” to which he refers. A reader may conclude that he lacks the significant reason.
It is necessary to say that Fortunato is shown as a connoisseur of good wine, though his actions during the story make it questionable. For instance, he is being so drunk that he would be unable to determine the Amontillado and supposes De Grave to be an expensive French wine. The writer may have known bricklaying via his own experience. There are a lot of periods of the author’s life that lack significant biographical details, involving what he did after leaving the Southern Literary Messenger in the year 1837.
There is an intense application of symbolism and irony in the whole story of The Cask of Amontillado that makes the short story as an exciting candidate deserving the thorough analysis. The efficient application of these devices is used by the writer in order to make this horrific and suspenseful story. This story is considered to be a horror short story that revolves around the concerns of revenge and pride. The plot includes two men: Montresor, as the narrator of the story (he is an Italian aristocrat seeking revenge against Fortunado), and Fortunado, the second key personage, a proud man that boasts about his connoisseurship of wines and who at last goes himself to his own death.
It is essential to determine the term irony that is being a method of expression with the help of which words or events depict a reality different from and even opposite to expectation. The application of such manner in the story fills it with humour and wit, and creates the more sophisticated piece. The supported irony is revealed via style, tone and the obvious application of exaggeration by the narrator.
From the very start of the story the reader may feel the apparition of irony in the plot. Even the name of the victim Fortunato vividly depicts that this is a man of good fortune, though the real matter is that he is about to suffer: the very end of his life. The scenery in which the story is going on once more depicts an ironic element. The story takes place in the course of Venice’s Carnival that the main personages meet. The fest is considered to be a period of celebration and happiness for all the people. However, the carnival is being a moment for revenge and death. The whole atmosphere of the story shifts rapidly in the moment when the two protagonists leave the fest for the gloomy catacombs situated under Montresor’s palazzo. The narrator tells when he first met his victim, Fortunato, the latter has been drinking and is dressed in many colours. He resembled a jester. It is essential to add that his costume proposes that he will be the one playing the fool. As for Montresor, he is actually dressed in a black-coloured cloak. E may be considered as the symbol of judge and executioner in the story.
There are two main literary tools applied in this story – irony and symbolism that are used in the story in order to convey personal messages in the process of the story. It is the writer’s intense application of symbolism and irony throughout The Cask of Amontillado that provides this piece of writing with its suspense and horror filled theme. The writing is supposed to be a horror story that concentrates around the themes of revenge and pride. The plot of the story includes two men as mentioned above – Montresor and Fortunato. As mentioned before, The Cask of Amontillado should be considered as a piece of a horror story. It is essential to note that the reader quickly get to know of the fact that Montressor is being not a reliable narrator, and that he exaggerates a bit everything, because he mentions the thousand of injuries that he has suffered at the hands of his potential victim, Fortubado. The story refers to a horrible revenge that was even more horrible because of the fact that the vengeance is being taken when no real offence had been given. It is necessary to underline that Montressor is the person who will stop at nothing to get the revenge that he deems himself and his family worthy of.
Irony may be explained as well as a manner of expression through which words or events express a reality different from and even opposite to appearance or expectation. The application of such devices in this story makes the writing more interesting to read. The irony is hidden everywhere here throughout the whole story. It hides not only in the names, but also in the costumes of the personages, in their behaviour and words.
One more concern that has to be analyzed if the story provides really a perfect crime. This is probably being the main issue in the writer’s story. The story may be supposed to be a dark tale of a presumably insane man who suffers from some insults that his friend Fortunado made to him. One of the key reasons in telling this story is the scenery. The tale takes place primarily in the Montresor family’s catacombs that gives the dark setting, filled with human bones. This shows the place where Montresor committed this crime; the place where no one will expect. Moreover, the narration is being as well very helpful in telling the plot. It is interesting that it the first person point of view, and the story is actually retold by the murderer himself. It is interesting that the readers will deep into the murderer’s thoughts and reasons why he wants to murder Fortunato in such a way. So the symbolism of the story is very essential and there are many symbols in characterizing Montresor assaulting the victim. At last, the insane Montresor attempted to pull the perfect crime though failed; as he realizes that he is doing a bad thing.
Conclusion. In the story, the scenery and circumstances of Montresor’s catacombs gives Montresor a place where he can murder his friend with almost no evidence on who murdered him, assisting his attempt at committing the perfect crime. It is necessary also to add that the catacombs in the writing are being old with spider webs and even with some human remains there. The whole scenery of the catacombs is also gloomy; the friends need torches to proceed via it. So this is considered to e a perfect place for the crime. Also, the whole atmosphere is being disturbing and anxious. This all creates the settings for the perfect crime, though the narrator reveals everything himself. Actually, the story is very intriguing as the mystery remains till the very end for the reader – what was the real purpose to kill Fortunado?
Reynolds, David F. “Poe’s Art of Transformation: ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ in Its Cultural Context.” The American Novel: New Essays on Poe’s Major Tales. Ed. Silverman, Kenneth. Cambridge University Press, 1993. 101.
Baraban, Elena V.” The Motive for Murder in ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ by Edgar Allan Poe”. Rocky Mountain E-Review of Language and Literature. Vol.58, number 2. Oxford University Press, 2004.