The Cask of Amontillado

1774 WordsJun 18, 20188 Pages
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” the main character, Montresor, leads his enemy, Fortunato, into his catacombs, and there buries him alive by bricking him up in a niche in the wall; Poe gives no actual reason for this except to say that Montresor has been “insulted” in some way. In his Science Fiction work “Usher II,” Ray Bradbury adopts many of Poe’s works in creating his story—including pieces from “TCoA.” What separates Bradbury’s work from other authors who borrow works and re-imagine them (Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, Geraldine Brooks’s March, and Peter Carrey’s Jack Maggs, for instance), is that “Usher II,” in its imaginative way, is trying to be one with its predecessor. Bradbury seeks to retain Poe’s love of the double…show more content…
The author tells us that Fortunato is “a man to be respected and even feared” (Poe 1612)—which could mean some sort of public embarrassment for Montresor, but the reader can only make vague assumptions—but nothing else; the reader knows even less about Montresor—only that he is on this quest for vengeance. In “TCoA,” there are no developed characters, no real plot structure; there is only, as was stated above, Poe’s ideal tale: effect and climax. He sets the tone with the theme of vengeance, he sets the scene with the walk through the catacombs, all building to what he deemed to be the essence of stories—the climax, in which Montresor walls up his “friend.” And then Poe leaves. It is an almost perfect Poe story; a story which Bradbury will take and make his own—but not in the way that most authors do. Bradbury’s tone throughout “Usher II” is a mixture of dark and comedic. The author is trying to capture that sadistic Poe mentality (the main character, Stendahl, has all the people from the Society for the Prevention of Fantasy murdered in horribly demented, Poe-like ways (Bradbury 113-115)), while at the same time tossing a wink-wink at the reader familiar with Poe’s work: “‘During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day …’ Mr. Whendal paused in his quotation” (Bradbury 103), from “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Bradbury does make the story his own by setting it in a super-advanced future (though it’s set in 2005, it had been futuristic for him

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