Analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe & “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemmingway
Analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, is a short story about a man named Montessor who gets revenge on one of his “friends” named Fortunado by trapping him and burying him alive.
Setting: Two kinds
Plot: Man gets revenge on his “friend”
Characters: Montresor, Fortunado, Montresor’s family, and Luchesi
Setting: An underground catacomb, somewhere in Italy, during the carnival season
Time: Over two days
Conflict: For Montresor to revenge himself for Fortunato’s insult, he has to get away with it – if Fortunato can revenge him back, then Montresor has lost. The punishment must be permanent − Fortunato has to feel it, and he has to know it’s coming from Montresor.
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At the end of the story The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe, we find Montressor and Fortunato inside the former's (Montressor's) catacombs in a quest for a cask of Amontillado wine, which is quite precious and is one of the very rich possessions of Montressor. This wine is meant as bait for Fortunato--a man who enjoys his drink--since Montressor is planning his horrid murder. Therefore, Montressor wants Fortunato to be drunk with wine so that he can bury Fortunato alive within the catacombs.
Soon after this incident, the deed begins to take place, and we see the coldness with which Montressor continues to narrate his actions.
This is the part that is shocking and morbid, even sadistic, to the average person. What strikes the reader the most is that Montressor, as he narrates his actions, still has the gall to call Fortunato his "friend," even as he builds the walls within which he is to trap Fortunato alive. The last time Montressor calls Fortunato his "friend" is the moment when he leads Fortunato straight to the "bait," which was the wine.
What this shows is a disturbed, confused, and sick mind that finds pleasure in his task. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a story nothing more than the behavior of a sociopath and psychologically deranged killer.
Types of characters: Montresor is a flat character, he shows no remorse for his deed. Fortunado is a round character, fluctuating back and forth between sober and drunk.
Conclusion: It’s impossible to know how old Montresor is when he kills Fortunato, but in the second to the last line of the story, we learn that the murder happened fifty years ago. So Montresor is probably pushing eighty when he’s telling the story. And he could be far more ancient. More importantly, this conclusion lets us know that Montresor has gotten away with his crime so far. His vengeance has been a success, and he wants us to know it.
Abstract of Essay – The Cask of Amontialldo (based on topic of my choice, “Motives for murder”)
Only something so satisfying could make a man kill, revenge. Revenge is a powerful motivation.