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Brittany Crosdale Prof.

Jacobs ENC 1102 2 April 2014 Essay: The Tale of a Crime Unrecognized In Edgar Allan Poes The Cask of Amontillado, the narrator, Montressor, is consumed with the idea that he needs to be avenged for the wrongdoing that Fortunato has done to him, and he sets out a drastic plan to do just that with a rare wine called theAmontillado. In this revenge, story Poe uses many literary devices to show the tale of a man who got away with an unthinkable crime. Poe uses symbolism to support his theme of revenge in The Cask of Amontillado as a reflection of his obsession with death. Poes use of symbolism allows the reader to better understand how the story is going to play out. One great example of that is the use of the character named Fortunato, meaning fortunate, and by no means was he fortunate in this story. Fortuanto allowed his pride to get the best of him just, and the narrator Montressor used it to his advantage. The article states that Poe picked the name Amontillado because it means to sum up, or heaped up (Lewis) which shows that Poe picked this wine to better show how Fortunato was basically going to be killed heap up by a pile of bricks. Poe also could have intended to show the rare wine as art and that it could be possible that Montressor could have viewed his passionate crime as a piece of artwork. You have been imposed upon; and as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish sherry from Amontillado (Poe 166). This shows that Fortuanto is also a pretender because he puts so much concern between a sherry and amontillado when Amontillado is a sherry; just how Montressor stresses between an authentic friend and a pretender. Another example that allows the reader to

know how the story is going to play out is how Montressor family arms showing that he was a mason. When Fortuanto asked him if he was a part of the mason club and he shows him hi trowel it shows that Monstressor is going to act out some deed with building or with his hands. Revenge is a dish best served cold and that was nowhere near the case in this story. Montressor allowed for his passion and pride to play a big role in his act on Fortuanto. Pride is mans greatest fault. This concept is clearly seen in both characters Montressor and Fortunato. Monstressor claims to be insulted and his pride is the one that makes him act in revenge. To act out his revenge he plays on Fortuantos pride and that is what leads to Fortunatos demise. It can be said that his pride in his family name is the reason as to why he could not allow Fortuanto to get away with his insults. It clear that his family thinks the same way because it is in his familys motto Nemo me impune lacessit, which means No one dare attack me with impunity (Poe 167). The motto and thinking that every time someone insults him he has to do a greater injustice to them leads to his downfall as he plans and executes his revenge on Fortunato. Montressor is not more able to escape his faith like Fortuanto because he allows it to consume him. Montressor put so much effort in the trying to achieve that perfect plot and it seems to be unfulfilling because he doesnt share his feelings when the deed is done. Montressors pride causes him to act out his revenge with no ounce of immorality. Fortuantos pride allowed him to also be in the same boat as Montressor and allowed Montressor to act out his revenge upon him. Montressor knew Fortunato had a weak point.He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine (Poe 165). Montressor plays on Fortuantos weakness by creating this nonexistent cask of Amontillado he knew Fortuanto would do anything to get his hands on. He even test Fortuantos pride by saying that he can get Luchesi to taste the wine instead. Fortuantos pride again getting the best of him he insults Luchesi not

wanting anybody to be better than him. Montressor still playing with Fortuanto offers to turn back because of Fortunatos cough and the dampness in the catacombs. Fortunato can not admit that his sickness might inhibit his taste of the wine that he apparently would do anything for. Now seeing that Fortuanto will not turn back because of his pride, Montressor gets them, to the final destination where he acts out his revenge. Fortuantos pride blinds him to the many insults he has said to his murderer and also blinded him to his murderers intentions of seeking out revenge. The perfect crime is the crime that goes unsolved and in this story of revenge pride is both of the characters downfall. Montressors pride is still so great that after fifty years he feels like he has to still tell his story sort of like his last who hoorah before he dies. The perfect murder is the murder that goes unsolved because you can commit the perfect murder but who would know that it was you unless you tell so what would be the point of committing the perfect murder if no one was is going to find out? Monstressor feels he has got revenge on Fortuanto because instead or saying may your soul rest in peace he say In pace requiescat he generalizes it and absolves himself as a dying sinner (Baraban). He may be telling the story as a sign of forgiveness but it does not seem like it because as he was laying the last stone there was no sign of remorse. There does not even seem to be any guilt on his part of this tragic murder. According to Stamiris, writer of the Psychoanalytical Criticism, literature is related to or an extension of the author and his biography. The authors story is somehow or another an autobiography of the author whether the author knows it or not. This allows for the psychological theory or art to be analyzed. This fits into Poes writing in many ways because Poe had a very hard and dark life which is a big theme in this story. Poes father died and shortly after so did his mother of Tuberculosis. Poe was left broke with his sister and brother without anywhere to go.

He was taken in by a merchant named John Allan. Poe studied at the University of Virginia where his father refused to pay. Due to his disappointment Poe turned to drinking and gambling. After a short time in school, he moved to Boston starting his writing career. After losing his job, he married his thirteen year old cousin. Shortly after, he produced a well known work called The Raven establishing himself as a renowned writer. After that, he lost his editorship so he and his wife moved cottage where he wrote The Cask of Amontillado nearly starving to death. Showing the gloomy side he was feeling at the time which is portrayed in his story. Possibly showing the two sides of himself he feels or seems himself when he was drinking as Montressor and Fortuanto. A few months later his wife died of Tuberculosis and Poe became dependent on alcohol leading him to have an alcoholic episode which led to his death. Poe talks about premature death in a majority of his works and The Cask of Amontillado is no different (Morsberger). That can be directly related to both his mother and wife dying of the same disease at around the same age. Poe shows that The Cask of Amotillado is a representation of him and his life in many ways displaying the alcoholic Fortuanto dying before his time at the hands of Montressor. He also uses elaborate symbolism to get you to think and understand the deeper meaning of the storys revenge plot.

Works Cited
Baraban, Elena. The Motive for Murder in The Cask of Amontillado. Gale Learning. Rocky Mountain Review. 2004. Web. 27 March 2014. Lewis, Michael Jay. Refining a Fortuanto Amontillado. N.p. Taylor and Francis Group. 2011. Web. 27 March 2014. Morsberger, Robert. The Cask of Amontillado. Literary Reference Center. Salem Press. N.d. Web. 27 March 2014. Poe, Edgar Allan. The Cask of Amontillado. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Spencer Richardson- Jones. New, York. W.W. Norton & Company Inc. 2013. 165-170. Print. Stamiris, Yiannis. Chapter Five: Freud and Jung: Psychoanalytic Criticism. Main Currents in Twentieth Century Literary Criticism: A Critical Survey. 106-132. Literary Reference Center Plus. N.p. SJK Publishing Industries, Inc., 1986. Web. 27 March 2014.