Analysis Of Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado

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Poe’s 1846 work, “The Cask of Amontillado,” details the manipulative and vengeful actions of the narrator, Montresor, including luring his victim, Fortunato, into his family catacombs with alcohol in order to bury him alive. Poe reflects his foster father as the murderer of the story, and shows the sardonicism of his life through dramatic and verbal irony. When Poe was in school, his foster mother died. She instructed her husband to wait until Poe returned home before her burial, but John Allan disregarded this and buried her before Poe returned. Although the real-life event is not as literal as Poe describes in his work, both his foster mother and Fortunato are prematurely buried. The exaggeration of his foster mother’s death is shown…show more content…
However, Montresor never states what Fortunato did to offend him, alerting the reader to question if Montresor is simply imagining the thought himself, showing the signs of a mentally unstable person. Here, Montresor represents Poe’s foster father, as both commit a sin out of vengeance – Montresor murders Fortunato, and Allan disobeys the wishes of his late wife. By portraying his foster father as the murderer, Poe portrays him as evil and mentally unstable. In a way, this can also be seen as Poe’s revenge against his father. Additionally, Fortunato trusts the narrator (motivated by the promise of alcohol) even though there are foreboding presages of his coming misfortune. On the contrary, Poe did not trust his foster father’s judgement, leading to conflict between the two. At the end of Poe’s work, Fortunato begins to express his panic, when the alcohol wears off and he realizes his demise, as heard by Montresor: “I heard the furious vibrations of the chain […] a succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back” (Poe “The Cask of Amontillado”). Despite hearing the tormented cries of his victim, Montresor continues his actions determinedly, and justifies his sickened heart with the “dampness of the catacombs” (Poe “The Cask of Amontillado”). The narrator’s lack of sympathy relates to Allan’s disownment of his son. Allan never
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