The Shining House – Themes
A theme the writer develops early and then carries throughout is that of the façade, the false front hiding some other reality. This theme of appearance masking truth is signaled very early in the story, initially through the use of the word “pretext. ” Numerous instances of “pretending” – environmental, societal, personal, emotional, and verbal pretense – occur during the story. Pretending is found in the words of Mrs. Fullerton, Mary and the community of neighbours. In a sentence or two, write a thematic statement that you feel effectively identifies the controlling idea (or one of the controlling ideas) of the story. After you have written your theme – write a short paragraph “defending” your thematic choice – why did you choose the theme you did. By treating Mrs.
Fullerton as nothing more than an antique piece taking up room, the neighborhood residents idea of discarding her outlines the revolving theme of generation gap and its outcomes. Generation gap can be considered a theme because it’s a revolving topic in the story. The initial mention of this is made when Mrs. Fullerton talks about her husband who seems to have run off. She mentions the age gap between herself and Mr. Fullerton with total acceptance, “He’s not old […] not old like I am. ” Although there is no solid evidence stating her husband left because of the age difference the assumption we can make is that because people from the younger generation tend to think they are more superior in comparison to the older generation her husband could have thought he would have a better chance at getting what he wanted out in the world since he was still young. The real relation to generation gaps is identified through the residents of Garden Place who are selfish and arrogant.
These residents believe they are superior to Mrs. Fullerton because they live in “The new, white and shining houses,” as compared to her who lives in an “eyesore, filthy” house which “is bringing down the resale value of every house on this street. ” Due to the state of her house and for their own selfish reasoning’s they want to kick Mrs. Fullerton out, who’s been living in the area before any of the neighbors were even born. This shows how the younger generation disregards the fact that Mrs. Fullerton has more of a right to the place than any of them do, “She’s been here forty years, now we’re here”; they believe themselves to be young, strong and in power. As age is a factor which singles out Mrs. Fullerton from the rest of the neighbors, they also single out her house from the rest of the houses by using gloomy description for her house and creating a bright image of their own houses. Thus, it can be said that the neighbors only focus on outer appearance rather than understanding what’s on the inside. They prefer all the houses to look alike and aligned rather than a house which stands out for his different qualities which means they prefer aesthetics over individuality and therefore might see Mrs. Fullerton as a threat because she stands out in every way.
The character of Mary is such a significant one because she is portrayed as a bridge between the two generations. She stands up for Mrs. Fullerton by refusing to sign the petition to get Mrs. Fullerton kicked out because she says “I don’t think we have the right. We haven’t the right. ” That preference of aesthetics comes up again when the reply to Mary’s remark is “Mary, don’t you care how things look? You live here too. ” Mary shows her strength by rejecting their value of prioritizing aesthetics by saying “No, I – I don’t care” and in my opinion Mary also shows respect and acceptance of that generation factor whereas the rest don’t.
The Analysis Of The Beowulf Character
Beowulf is not a hero, And he proves this himself throughout the poem. He is idolized as a hero and has all the traits of a hero, and almost everyone who reads this will agree, but when you go deeper into the meaning of the story you will truly see that beowulf is in fact not a hero but lacks some traits a true hero will need. You can see that in the poem he is just seeking for glory, and never gives anyone credit, yes, he is strong and brave but that doesnt mean he is a hero.
The first reason is beowulf seeks for glory but only for himself. He is a great soldier but when he went into battle he always put himself before others. “but i will fight again, seek fame still if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me”. He is merely too confident, which isn’t a bad thing, but can lead to destruction and disaster, and he is too cocky. He will continue fighting to seek more fame and more glory. In the poem he always says he is doing things for his people when really he is only doing them or himself. For example he didn’t need to fight the final battle but he did anyways because of his pride. He wanted to battle the dragon so he could receive all the gold and treasure for him, not for his people. Unfortunately at the end he died, and what happened to all the treasure? It was buried with him in his tomb, wasn’t even used to help his people.
Next reason is most for beowulf not being a hero is his bravery isn’t just “bravery” but more stupid. For example, the battle with Grendel, he literally asks to fight him without weapons. “ i have heard, too, that the monsters scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I. My lord Higlac might think less of me if i let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if i hid behind some broad linden shield; my hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against monster.) You could say it’s a sign of bravery for him wanting to fight this fight without weapons, but really it’s just him wanting to show off, and gain more glory. He didn’t need to fight without his weapons, and everyone already knows how strong and brave he is, so using a sword would not make anyone think less of him. No matter what he did, if he took grendel down, everyone would be amazed no matter what. He was also taking a big risk because if he would have lost the people would have suffered even longer from grendel, and he could have lost, but he took the chance because it looked better to fight with no weapons. So, no he didn’t need to use a sword but him not actually using a sword in a way proves my point in that he is not a true hero.
The last reason goes along with the others, that most of his actions are based on his pride, and how he wants others to perceive him. For example, the battle with grendels mom, it didn’t need to happen either, but he went and fought her and killed her, and after took grendels head with him. “They walked quickly, happily, across roads all of them remembered, left the lake and the cliffs alongside it, brave men staggering under the weight of grendels skull, too heavy for fewer than four of them to handle.) He didn’t need to fight the battle but he did, and he didn’t need to bring along the head of grendel, but he did, too show off and too receive more praise from others, so everyone knows what he has done. Also going back to the last battle, even with all the warnings about not fighting the dragon, he did anyways, and got himself killed.
Beowulf shows all the traits of a hero, brave, strong, courageous, but he lacks a few of the most important traits. He is selfish and prideful, he only cares about himself, and isn’t the best at making decisions which will not only benefit him but others as well. You could read this story and think he is a hero, he fought battles, he saved his people a few times, was able to receive treasure, but he did it full of pride, and with the risk of harming himself and others. He may seem like a hero but realistically he isn’t, anyone can be strong and brave, but it doesnt make them a hero: beowulf isn’t a hero.
The Pardoner In “The Canterbury Tales” By Geoffrey Chaucer’s
A preacher stands visible on a television screen. He has a million-watt smile and a thousand-dollar three-piece suit. His hair is perfectly coiffed, and he is wearing about as much makeup as the average Miss America contestant (one must look good for the camera). He is onstage at the front of a megachurch so enormous one might easily confuse it for a dome stadium on a Saturday night. His melodic voice rings out with a hint of snake oil and an extra helping of Southern drawl. He speaks to the crowd while he looks at the teleprompter, preaching about love, healing, and prosperity-based belief, such as his belief that everyone ought to send him a twenty-dollar donation before the day is through for the sake of saving souls. Today this image is as stereotypically American as baseball and apple pie. However, the concept of a slick preacher selling pardon is far from modern or American in origin— corrupted clergy and clergy-adjacent laity were already a common image in the Middle Ages. Known in Chaucer’s time as a Pardoner, this role’s duties, wealth & status, and his value to society would scarcely be different from televangelists today.
A Pardoner’s primary duty was the distribution of papal indulgences, and the collection of voluntary donations or tithes (Lenaghan). In the general prologue, Chaucer’s Pardoner has “come straight from the court of Rome… [his knapsack] brimful of pardons…” (Chaucer 671, 686, 687). The Pardoner abuses his position by selling the indulgences for profit and keeping the donations which were meant to go to the Church for himself. “The Pardoner sells fake relics as an additional sideline” (Lenaghan). A Pardoner also presided at religious services from time to time for the good of the people, although in this Pardoner’s case it served as an another means of making money: “He was in church a noble ecclesiast… For he knew well, when that song was sung, He must preach and well smooth his speech to win silver, as he very well knew how; Therefore, he sang the more merrily and loud” (Chaucer 708-714).
Working for the Catholic Church, the Pardoner should not have been wealthy. Normally, the clergy take vows of poverty, and laypersons are either given a small stipend or else work as volunteers. Chaucer’s Pardoner however finds a way to turn a profit. “In one day, he got himself more money than the parson got in two months” (Chaucer 703-706). In this point is he most like his modern equivalent, the televangelist— both take advantage of the gullible and trusting for their own benefit, exploiting people’s faith, ignorance, and superstitions for monetary gain. Both also enjoy an undeserved social status. Individuals tend to give respect automatically to representatives of the Church. One assumes them to be good people. Unfortunately, this does not always prove to be the case. Chaucer rails hardest against the clergy in “The Canterbury Tales” because of their betrayal of their duties and their undeserved good reputation. He wanted to expose the corruption of this estate and of all those connected with it. He did not hold back with the Pardoner. “The Pardoner has traditionally been seen as the most sinful or abandoned of all of Chaucer’s pilgrims, the one lost soul in the Canterbury group” (Sturges 47).
The value of a Pardoner in medieval European society is entirely debatable depending upon whom one asks. In the Middle Ages they garnered respect since they worked for the Church, although most were utterly undeserving. People believed Pardoners labored for the good of men and women’s souls because they supplied access to indulgences. It is important to understand why individuals would desire an indulgence in the first place: in the Catholic faith, it is believed that once a person’s sins have been forgiven, he or she still owes a debt of temporal punishment which is either paid in this life or in a place called Purgatory after death. One might think of this in terms of an analogy: if a child breaks his or her neighbor’s window with a baseball, they can go and say they are sorry, but still ought to help replace the window to appease the neighbor. Indulgences in the correct understanding were not meant to forgive sin or save souls but to aid in repairing the spiritual windows one had broken and heal his or her relationship with God.
One gains indulgences through good works or prayers applicable to oneself or to deceased persons to pay off their debts and gain their release from Purgatory (meaning they can be happy in Heaven). The opportunity to free either oneself or one’s friends and family from Purgatory meant a lot to these people, therefore they valued the Pardoner. However, given what is known now about the Pardoner, he was not helping anyone but himself. He is a valueless scumbag who manipulated poor trusting souls (the same as the televangelist). Chaucer goes as far as to outright question whether the Pardoner is “a eunuch or a homosexual” and implies an unholy (from the medieval perspective) relationship with the Summoner (Sturgis 48), who sings a love song with him: “Very loud he sang ‘Come hither, love, to me!’ This Summoner harmonized with him in a strong bass…” (Chaucer 672-673). Were the medieval public to think this was the case, he would have been a social pariah (Sturgis 48). Rumors of homosexuality also haunt many modern televangelists as well.
The character of the Pardoner was ripe for satire when Chaucer began writing his magnum opus, “The Canterbury Tales.” Between the noble reputation and the reality of the corruption lay a sizeable gap within which he could conjecture. While entertaining, it also served the purpose of exposing corrupt members of the clergy for what they were, charlatans who abused their positions. One only wishes that their modern equivalent, the Joel Osteens of the world, received a calling out half as succinct as Chaucer’s for their private jets and gated mansions at the expense of God’s good name.
- Chaucer, Geoffrey. “The Canterbury Tales.” Translated by Larry D. Gen. ed., The Riverside Chaucer. Houghton Mifflin Company. http://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/teachslf/gp-par.htm
- Lenaghan, R. T. “Chaucer’s ‘General Prologue’ as History and Literature.” Poetry for Students, edited by Anne Marie Hacht, vol. 14, Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/H1420037490/GLS?u=avlr&sid=GLS&xid=6a63a1fd. Accessed 28 9 2018.
- Originally published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 12, no. 1, Jan. 1970, pp. 73-82.Sturges, Robert S. The Pardoner’s Different Erotic Practices. 2000. 28 9 2018. pp. 47-59. .
Quinton Seitz Character Analysis From “The Lost Continent” By Tui T. Sutherland
Quinton Seitz Character Analysis “The Lost Continent” by Tui T. Sutherland centers on a dragon named Blue, who lives on a continent named Pantala. Blue lives in a tribe named the SilkWings, throughout this story he is faced with many challenges, one of the most important ones being that he is treated in a way that is considered “lower class”. Blue has embarked on a journey to save his sister from the potential harm the Queen for her. This character is presented throughout most of the story as an anxious individual, he is unable to cope with menacing situations even when there are others around. As well this character portrays a sense of loyalty and honesty towards his Queen and his acquaintances through various manners.
Blue is portrayed as an anxious character, this is primarily due to his curiosity about the world. Across the first half of the book, this character is seen worrying about his sister and how she is going through a phase that is not regular. This is shown through the phrase, “If everything has to change [with her], could it at least be ordinary or a predictable change?” What Blue is feeling here is a sense of anxiety, he does not want his sister to go through an unconventional change. Blue’s character does not like to take risks, especially when it breaks one of the rules in the Hive. He does not step forward to take action on any situations, instead, it is one of his aliases that forces him to do so. While this character may not seem like the type to go beyond what is expected of him, in some parts of the book he is seen jeopardizing his own future. This happens because Blue is left without anyone and has to cope with the problems he must face.
Loyalty is one of the many characteristics this character can be described with. For Blue this is one of his traits that he is very assertive about, others may view him as “too loyal” this meaning that he follows whatever his superiors tell him to with no questioning. Although this may be a strength for Blue so that he does not get sent to Misbehavers Way, it also can be a weakness. During the most climactic part of the story Blue is introduced to many problems. However most of them are based around breaking Hive rules. Due to his loyalty towards the Queen Blue is unable to comprehend many tasks that have been set upon him, especially ones that contradict with the rules. This makes it hard for him to make a righteous decision. Many of Blue’s acquaintances advise him to stop following the rules at the Hive, this is only due to the fact that his sister is more important than what the Queen has to enforce upon them.
The Analysis Of The Film “Much Obliged To You For Smoking”
In this film, we are given a character who remains for something that gives off an impression of being irredeemable. Scratch Naylor speaks to huge tobacco and the fundamental plot of the film is him endeavoring to shield the skull and crossbones image from being put on cigarettes. Much obliged to You for Smoking is a parody and that ironical angle is critical in light of the fact that the majority of the pictures displayed in the film are done as such with the sole motivation behind communicating something specific against smoking.
The gathering of people sees Nick experiencing an adventure all through the film where he is presented to the all the more harming parts of his work. In particular, we see the Marlboro man in his retirement being offered a reward that he can’t won’t. This is a low point for Nick and Lorne admits to him that he appears like a “pleasant person” and asks him for what reason he proceeds. This prompts the way that Nick is great at his activity and feels that is the reason he should proceed. All through the film, Nick is training his child about what he does and why that he keeps on doing it. A scene that especially resounds about these exercises is when Nick discloses to his child that you are never wrong in the event that you can contend accurately. In any case, this is the place the moral predicament where his child proposes the topic of, “in light of the fact that you can accomplish something, should you?” It is an issue that Nick is compelled to battle with all through the film and we see his movement where he grows all the more a soul.
This film turns out to be much more pertinent in view of the issues that the United States is right now experiencing. We are given the thought toward the finish of the film where Nick moves onto more present things with mobile phone radiation. This goes to the possibility that the contending never stops. There will never be a conclusion to it. Particularly in view of Nick’s attitude, we are given he is changing all through the film yet then toward the end we are under the feeling that he never extremely changed. Be that as it may, toward the finish of the film it is up to the group of onlookers. That is the thing that improves the film even on the grounds that despite the fact that it is evident what the message is that the film is attempting to pass on, we are given an open finished answer on regardless of whether Nick has extremely changed and simply needs to do what he is great at or on the off chance that he has recently abandoned everything that he adapted already.
The issues and subjects spoke to in this film are as yet applicable right up ’til today which shows the film’s fortitude by having the capacity to address all inclusive points that can be identified with over and over. Tragically, government officials being deceptive has been a general piece of American Politics for some time and the film utilizes outrageous models so as to feature this reality however it gets the point over. Pundits have assessed this film with words like “overstuffed” however the measure of data set into the film is helpful with the goal for people to completely understand the message.
Moreover, it identifies with how overstuffed and over-burden the data about governmental issues are when all is said in done. It tends to be troublesome for the normal American to find out about what is extremely going ahead in the nation’s governmental issues when there is such a great amount of occurring without a moment’s delay. In some ways the administration utilizes that further bolstering their good fortune, much the same as in the film, since they need certain things to fly under the radar without individuals acknowledging it.
College Education In Crucet’s Story “Make Your Home Among Strangers”
Most students coming into college think that it’s their time to be independent, have fun, make new friends, and get a degree. Jennine Capo Crucet acknowledges that college is more than just having fun partying with friends and just getting to that degree you strongly desire so quickly and easily. It’s a place where you make your new home, with new family and be with them until you reach your success. College consists of dedication and ambition. College education opens up new doors for you to reach your success with your hard work and become one of the idols you looked up to since you were a child or the people who just inspired you during your lifetime.
In Crucet’s story, “Make Your Home Among Strangers,” she talks about a girl named Lizet and her experience with coming to college and how it changed her life. The story is told with an opening of the character reflecting on her past life near the polluted environment of Hialeah, Miami. While she’s gasping at her past life she tells us a lot about her personal experiences along with college experiences. The protagonist confesses “I’d testified at my hearing a week earlier: I’d attempted to correctly cite something, but I didn’t even know the extent to which that needed to be done to count as correct”(Crucet Chapter 2).
Basically this shows us that Lizet is new to all this and she is getting penalized for not citing her writing paper. This is just one aspect of what college life could be. Responsibility is major key for college. If Lizet didn’t know she had to cite it she could have went for feedback to her professor. Academic success in college is only achieved when you put in the work for it. The protagonists first year of college experiences are shown clearly and how she’s been distracted but her mother doesn’t know anything about it. Lizet tells us that “I didn’t really know if i should major in biology, but I planned to major in biology anyway because I’d read it was one of the largest, most popular majors at Rawlings, and therefore (I reasoned) couldn’t possibly be that hard”(Crucet end of Chapter 2).
Most students that are first year college students go through this and then end up changing their major to a whole different one, Which can also delay their degree. This is where all the fun can end for some people too because most people want to have a social life, enough sleep and academic success at the same time. There’s very few people that can do it all together, but for most it’s not their cup of tea. Hence, Having a firsthand account of the transition of college has really changed my view on the book.
The experiences of the protagonist are very similar to most college students in their freshman year. Trying to figure out how to be academically successful with other distractions can be very challenging. The book showcases any type of hardships society and school can cause, it teaches us that college has expectations and that we need to place our personal matters aside from our school work. Being emotionally stable can really be an advantage in the first year, because you’re already ahead of what the school thinks of you. Meaning you’re not confused or lost, and that you know what you are in college for.
- “Make Your Home Amongst Strangers.” New York : St. Martin’s Press, 2015. Crucet Capo Jennine.
The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka: Changes Of Grete
Imagine being a clueless and naive little girl that doesn’t have any responsibilities to becoming a person who has to do everyone else’s job in the house. In the short story The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I will be comparing and contrasting how Grete changed drastically through the beginning of the story to the end. Throughout the story Grete will be making a lot of startling and striking changes. Some changes will either be for the best or for the worst. I think Grete’s started out a little negative at the beginning but through the story she turned into a better person and started to look at everything in a different perspective. I think Grete changed for the Better.
Throughout the story you will witnessed a lot of changes from Grete. The most common one I saw that progressed throughout the story was that Grete started as a caring person. Then to a uncaring and cold person towards everyone. Grete puts food in his room. She focuses on what she puts in his room because she is making sure Gregor is not starving himself.
After Gregor is done eating she will go and check on him and clean up his food mess. She will always once a day go into his room to check to see if he is okay. Then towards the end of the story Grete changings to a cold, hard, and uncaring person. She just starts to throw food into his room and doesn’t care what he dislikes or likes to eat. She doesn’t even go into his room to check to see if he is okay. She doesn’t even call her brother by name she just calls he brother at it. So this changes Grete in a good way because she gets to see how other people act outside of her house. She gets to be responsible once for someone and this tells her how hard of work this is.
Another way Grete changes from the beginning of the story to the end. Is she goes from a little girl to a grown women. So in the beginning Grete is protected from the real world. She has never had to go out and get a job to help out the family. She never had to clean the house or help cook food for her family. She had everyone else do everything for her. She has always been in this little shell that her family keeps her in. Towards the middle and end of the story Grete is the only one that will go in to Gregor’s room to see him and take care of him. The new found behavior is seen as responsibility in her parents eyes. She tries her best to be there and support her brother anyway she can. That is a way Grete changed for the better because she is known a responsible women.
The last way I think Grete changes in the short story is from idealistic to realistic.
Transformation Of The Main Characters In Shiloh By Bobbie Ann Mason
Bobbie Ann Mason’s story “Shiloh” was giving an opening image that really suggests something about the transformation of the main characters. The struggling characters are trying to make sense of themselves and one another. What we see through the course of the story is both Leroy and Norma Jean changing. These changes may suggest the change in gender and gender roles. Change often causes uncertainty and instability, This later is the reason why both characters have an unstable marriage. We have a female character in the beginning of the story working out her pectorals, the physical transformation of fatty tissue into muscle. She is bettering herself, going back to school, working and leading the household. An independent woman that wants “more breathing space in her relationship with her man”.
Hints are given of Norma Jean’s journey for independence and this rebellion role against the traditional female. We also have a male character who has been disabled and now has to stay home. He is a passive character and also does crafts to waste time. Leroy tries to find stability in his household by insisting on “building a miniature log cabin”. Since Norma is the one working all the time, Leroy is the one who is at home all the time and now plays the role of a typical “stay home wife” while his actual wife is making the income. Although their physically not changing their genders, we do see a change in gender roles throughout the story.
Norma Jean is becoming this dominant role, traditionally taken by a male character. When we see what happens to Norma throughout the story we start to question what the intentions of the author is when talking about gender roles. Her interest in bodybuilding was awaken after her husband has injured his leg and now needs physical therapy to be able to lift weight. Norma Jean has found comfort in Bodybuilding being that her husband can’t physically help her. In today’s society, women that are participating in weightlifting and bodybuilding are considered strong independent women. Although it still remains largely a male dominated activity it continues to indicate extreme strength and power. The story starts and ends with the idea of power and where the power is placed. When Norma Jean tells her husband she doesn’t want to be with him anymore, during their getaway at Shiloh, she leaves him and then “she turns toward Leroy and waves her arms. Is she beckoning to him? She seems to be doing an exercise for her chest muscles”. The idea of her giving attention to her chest muscles indicate an idea of strength and power a gesture normally done by men. Mason allows this change in gender role to show power in women.
As a reader we see that the traditional positions of the male and female characters are blurred and not so traditional. We have a marriage that is not quite working because both characters are not on the same page, both of them have changed and are serving a lost as well. This relates to the usual norms of today’s society.
Chris Mccandless: A Loyal Follower of Transcendentalist Philosophy
In the film Into The Wild, Christopher McCandless sets out on a journey across the United States to Alaska to escape from the life that the average American goes through everyday. The film of Christopher McCandless going to Alaska while being completely unprepared sparks controversy among people. Chris set out on a journey foolishly, but he had great plans for himself and the wilderness.
Some people believe he left everything behind because he is confused and frustrated, who was blinded by his own pride to realize that his journey was a suicide mission. Other people believe he is a hero by showing his bravery to escape from standard life and live the life he wanted to live instead of the life his parents wanted him to fulfill.
Chris struggled to accept his family and the problems they faced, and later on decided to completely abandon his parents, sister, and friends. Chris has what Americans view as a ‘perfect’ life and Chris was seen as a fool to run away from the American epitome of success and flee to a life of being homeless and poor in the middle of nowhere. I believe Chris was in search of something more than just being tired of his normal life. Throughout the film Chris exemplifies his adventurous, strong-willed, and charismatic personality. Chris followed a Transcendentalist philosophy, by reading Thoreau and Emerson. Chris was a brave and fearless man who took the fate of his own life into his own hands.
Chris went out in the real world on his own to live his life by his own rules. Chris did not care what other people did, he did not want to live the way society wanted him to. By rejecting money, cars,weapons, and other things that could have helped keep him alive longer, he proved himself to be an independent young man. When Chris decided to go into the wild to live, he wanted to start a new life to find out who he is. His sister Carine said, “Chris knew exactly who he was. He was searching for a place in this world that he fit into, where he could be true to himself.”(Into The Wild) He didn’t want to think about the meaning of life, he wanted to live it for himself. He went traveling to find true happiness and beauty. That is the reason he did all what he did.
Lastly, Christopher McCandless went “Into the Wild” to discover what is summed up in his quote “happiness is only real when shared.”Before Chris died, I think he found exactly what he was looking for. I think that he felt that there was beauty and happiness in the wilderness, that there wasn’t in his life back at home. He had to begin a new life in order to obtain what he was searching for. I believed that he finally found a place where he belonged and fit in. Though I can see where Chris’s critics come from, I agree with what Jon Krakauer says that Chris wasn’t a nutcase, sociopath, or an outcast. I think he was a brave, fearless, heroic, and inspirational person that could’ve lived a life he loved.
Fortunato And Montresor Friendship Issues In The Cask Of Amontillado
Picture having to have to satisfy a taste for something that has been long overdue, the taste for the death of a friend. In “The Cask of Amontillado” Edgar Allen Poe, portrays this idea through Montresor. Although Fortunato and Montresor seem to have an ideal friendship, it is really dysfunctional. The ideal friend, in contrast to Fortunato and Montresor’s friendship, is based upon three fundamental traits: trust, communication, and compassion.
The ideal friend has trust. Trust is important in a relationship because it holds the relationship together and it allows independence. In the story, Poe displays the use of irony when he describes Montresor use the power of knowing that Fortunato needed to be the best of all, particularly in the knowledge for the taste of wine. Montresor mesmerised him with the following statement; “but I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado.”(1)
Then, Montresor claims to be on his way to Luchresi, and this is where Forunato boldly interrupts him, “Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.”(2) Fortunato, who had been insulting and upsetting Montresor to the ultimate level, chooses to foolishly trust him and accepts his offer to go to his house and drink with him. In most circumstances, if one were to insult a man and then was invited to his home to drink together, “(we) to your long life,” (3) would not trust him. Fortunato has enough faith in Montresor to drink past his limit and stroll the dim halls of Montresor’s household. It is the catacombs where Fortunato is confined to the wall and buried alive under a wall of bricks. His tragedy was due to his trust in a dishonest and vengeful friend.
Also, the perfect friend has efficient communication skills. George Bernard Shaw states, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Both Fortunato and Montresor have a lack of communication in their friendship. “The thousand injuries of Fortunato had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge ”(1) This line opens the narrative and demonstrates the character of Montresor, the storyteller. A thousand injuries hurt Montresor a thousand times, but he doesn’t inform the reader of any particular thing Fortunato did. The topmost important aspect in communication is listening and being aware of what isn’t said. For example, according to Montresor, Fortunato was ignorant and unaware of how Montresor really felt about him.
The topic of miscommunication is further explained throughout the short story. In one part of the narrative, both Montresor and Fortunato misinterpret each other after Fortunato asks if Montresor is of the ‘brotherhood’, to which he replies that he is of the brotherhood and mason. (4) Another example is when Fortunato asks for a sign, Montresor responds with: “producing from beneath the folds of his roquelaire a trowel.” (4) This demonstrates that while Fortunato and Montresor are able to communicate, they still have misunderstandings because both men do not know how to understand and properly communicate with each other.
Finally, the ideal friend has compassion for one another. In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, Montresor displays a lack of compassion as he witnesses the death of his friend, Fortunato. As Fortunato is about to perish he conveys, “for the love of God, Montresor!” which Montresor than echoes back to him, (“Yes” I said, ‘for the love of God!’ ).
Though both men have been passing bones and skulls, neither man came to talk about ‘The Divine’ until this moment. Fortunato presents a christian appeal to mercy as a final endeavor to convince Montresor to let him go.This means that when Montresor echoes back to him, he is refusing that request and declaring the dark benefit of ‘punishing’ Fortunato as a manner of pleasing God. Furthermore, it can be concluded that Montresor saw his actions as a successful act of vengeance, rather than a crime.
The role of an ideal friend is a complex one which involves many traits, specifically maintaining a trustworthy relationship, communicating on an equal level, and having a hint of compassion. Had Montresor spent more time trying to communicate his true feelings to Fortunato, perhaps Fortunato would still be alive and possibly could become a fitting friend to Montresor. Sadly, he did not. Thus, one can definitely learn from his example of how to be an ideal friend, and by doing so, avoid his mistakes and become the perfect companion.