Sean Irvin English 102-1AC College Composition II Prof. Ronald Strothers May 14, 2001 Essay 1 I think that "The Cask Of Amontillado" is believable because it seems like Montresor is fed up with Fortunato. Poe also leads us to believe that Fortunato is foolish enough to follow Montresor into the dark catacombs to get to the amontillado that he is an expert on. The story is a dark tale of a presumably insane man who suffers from, according to him, "the thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could"(75). Montresor has never told us exactly what Fortunato had done to him to make him so frustrated. We can only assume that it had to be many things that added up over a period of time.
The narration in the story gives readers the impression that Montresor is insane. Readers hear this story from the first person, from Montresor himself, and hear the way he perceives every event and every detail in its entirety, all from his point of view without anyone else's interfering.
He refers to Fortunato as his friend, a clue that he is not acting in his right mind. If Montresor had a good motive like Fortunato killing someone close to him, he would refer to Fortunato as his enemy. The reader also feels the pain of Montresor when he is erecting the wall over Fortunato; Montresor does not feel right in what he is doing. He even tries to call Fortunato's name before he lays the final stone to see if he is still alive, wondering if he could turn back and change his mind before it is too late and Fortunato is dead.
McConnell 2 The symbolism of this story describes what this story is about, Montresor killing Fortunato. At the time that Montresor is telling the story, he is on his deathbed confessing a terrible sin that he has done. He seems to have some regrets because he hesitates for a moment. When Montresor tries to call Fortunato for the last time after hearing Fortunato's last words, he thrusts a torch into the hole but "in return came only a jingling of the bells"(80). The jingling of the bells shows us as the readers and also the auditor that Fortunato is dead.
In the beginning Montresor feels confident. He knows that if he pulls the perfect crime, he must "not only punish, but punish with impunity"(75) and that "a wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong"(75). In the beginning of the story, Montresor feels capable of pulling off the task in luring Fortunato with a temptation of amontillado into his catacombs where Montresor will wall him up. When Montresor is building up the wall, he refrains from his work when he hears Fortunato screaming as well as trying to break free from his chains. According to Montresor, "for a brief moment I hesitated I trembled"(79). He was beginning to feel guilty for what he was doing when he heard Fortunato screaming. I believe that he feels guilty for what he has done and this is why is finally confessing before he dies.
The setting provides the reader with a good sense of how the story is told and makes it vivid and sometimes creepy regarding what is going on in "The Cask Of Amontillado". This is a suspense story because you are constantly wondering if Montresor will change his mind about killing Fortunato. I thought that he would change McConnell 3 his mind, but I was wrong. Now I can only wonder what Fortunato had done to Montresor to make him so upset