About Revenge Essay

If there is one thing that has been prevalent since human interaction began, it is the concept of revenge. Everyone has a moment in their life where someone does them wrong, and they want nothing more than to get back at the person who is responsible. While this reaction is completely normal, the results of actually acting on these feelings usually end badly for everyone involved. One of the main reasons that revenge does not typically end well is because once all is said and done, the past can not be changed.

“The Cask of Amontillado”, like many other stories, is focused on the theme of revenge, which is a feeling everyone is familiar with and is something that almost always ends badly. One of the more prominent stories about revenge comes from Edgar Allan Poe, a very well known author recognized mainly for his dark story writing. His story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, is an interesting tale about a man who feels insulted and seeks revenge.

Essentially, the main character, Montressor, feels that he has been insulted by his apparent hated enemy, Fortunato, and as a result he leaves Fortunato tied up in the Montressor family’s catacombs to die. In this story, many things are left unclear. For one thing, it is never told what exactly Fortunato did to exact this revenge. This means that his “insult” could be anything, and the punishment for his ‘crime’ in this story goes to show the length that people are willing to go to get revenge on someone who has wronged them.

One thing to note in this story is that the narrator is never caught for his crime. Although “The Cask of Amontillado” is a good story about revenge, it is not Edgar Allan Poe’s only story that relates to the subject. Another one of his stories that focuses on revenge is “Hop-Frog.” “Hop-Frog” tells the tale of a dwarf and his female companion, Trippetta, who are taken as prisoners from their homes and brought to be entertainment for a king that is very appreciative of humor. The story ends with Hop-Frog and his companion getting revenge upon the king for striking Trippetta and his mindless council by burning them alive in front of a crowd of people at a masquerade party. The main difference between this story and “The Cask of Amontillado” is that there is a lot more information to go off of. For one thing, it is made very clear why Hop-Frog wants to get revenge upon the king. One similarity between “Hop-Frog” and “The Cask of Amontillado” is that in neither story do the people achieving revenge have anything bad happen to them as a result. In both stories, it is apparent that the characters get away with their deeds. “Hop-Frog” brings a sense of joy in that Hop-Frog and Trippetta get away, but it leaves the viewer wondering if what they did was right.

Even so, wanting revenge is a natural feeling after being wronged, and there are deeper, psychological effects revolving around these feelings as well. An article by Stillwell, Baumeister, and Del Priore says that, “The discrepancies between how different people see the same event may contribute to such seemingly inequitable outcomes.” (253). What this means is that many times, people see different things when looking at the same situation, and as a result, one person can be left less satisfied with the results than the other person. For example, one person may view a prank as a minor thing and laugh it off, while the person who was pranked may view it as something that really rubbed them the wrong way and is something that they want to get back at the other person for. “When people are hurt or angered by another person they may try to restore equity to the relationship.” (Stillwell, Baumeister, and Del Priore 253). This means that when someone feels wronged, they feel like they have to make the relationship even again. Needless to say, some people will act on their feelings, and naturally some cases of revenge can go wrong. There are a bunch of cases in the news about how someone tries to take revenge upon someone else.

For the most part they end badly, which would make sense considering they ended up in the news. One case of revenge gone wrong occurred in New Port Richey, Florida when a seventeen year old turned a corner too fast and crashed into a few parked cars and a house in what was meant to be a simple attempt to throw eggs at her ex-boyfriend’s car. The end result was thousands of dollars worth of property damage and a citation for careless driving (Tampabay.com). As with this story and many others, revenge likely occurred because of a bad relationship break up. There are countless cases where someone seeks revenge on an ex-partner and ends up doing something fundamentally worse than the actual breakup. In a similar case, I interviewed a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous about a time that he seeked revenge. As with many cases of revenge, his was the result of a relationship gone bad. It was directed towards an ex-girlfriend who had recently began dating one of his close friends. After the break up, he was crushed. He took it very personally when his ex-girlfriend began dating one of his close friends. As a result, he ended up making threats against the new boyfriend and harassing his ex-girlfriend by hacking all of her social media accounts and deleting them.

The end result of his actions lead to a sit down between the group, which resulted with the possibility of harassment charges. In his case, he got lucky, but it could have ended much worse had they chosen to press charges. Since then he has made the decision that it would be best for him and for them if he just cut them out of his life for the time being, so that is what he is doing. Relationship break ups are rarely mutual, and if they are it usually does not stay that way for long, with one person ending up regretting the decision more than they thought they would. This case goes to show that acting on feelings of revenge is not good for anyone. Of course having a successful act of revenge towards someone may feel very satisfying at first, but in the long run people tend to reminisce about the initial event and it leaves them feeling just as bad as they did when it happened. Something that many people should learn is that there is no way to change the past. There will always be a void in the mind when thinking about what happened. “Revenge is a doomed attempt to eliminate shame and increase stature by asserting dominance.” (EmotionalCompetency.com). This means that when we feel like taking revenge, it is just a hole we are trying to fill with confidence to make ourselves feel better. As humans, we do not want to lose face with the people we know, so we feel obliged to take action against the wrongdoer to balance the scale.

Conversely, while many people would jump on the opportunity to get back at someone, some people are strong enough to not act on the urges of revenge. It takes a strong person to let something go, and it takes an even stronger person to completely forgive. “Forgiveness is the cancellation of deserved hostility and the substitution of friendlier attitudes.” (Hughes 113). To forgive someone should be viewed as a type of release. When a person forgives another, they are releasing all of their anger and hostility
and opening the door to a renewed friendship, or at least an agreement to not interact again. Of course, forgiving someone will not always stop them from doing something else in the future, but it is still a good method to practice for yourself. “Forgiveness has a discretionary nature, and the discretion belongs to the injured.” (Hughes 113). Many times, the best way to get back at someone is to show them that they did not have as massive an effect over you as they were hoping. While forgiving someone will not give immediate satisfaction, it is usually better for a person to let something go than to dwell on it for a long period of time. In contrast, it may be wondered whether or not retribution is always such a bad thing in certain cases. In the case of ‘Vicky’, it seems like retribution may be something that she deserves.

Ten years ago, ‘Vicky’, who was ten years old at the time, fell victim to her father, who recorded many videos of her performing sex acts with him and even made her act out scripts. Her real name as well as her father’s name was redacted from the court documents, however the case ended with her father being sentenced to fifty years in prison. Prosecutors from ‘Vicky’s’ case have said that “While she continues to try to live a normal life, ‘Vicky’ carries emotional burdens which continually get in her way.” (OpposingViewpoints.com). Needless to say, this case is an extreme one, which begs the question as to whether or not retribution is something that Vicky is right in seeking. It would seem outlandish for anyone to blame her for making the people who download the videos of her pay for her therapy. In this case, it may be best to let the victim act out what they feel, because very few people can truly understand what it is that ‘Vicky’ has been through and continues to go through everyday. Not surprisingly, the entertainment industry has quite an interest in the topic of revenge. Some of the most popular shows that air on television relate to the theme of revenge in one way or another.

In ‘Breaking Bad’, there are episodes toward the end where one character wants revenge very badly on another character, and it ends up putting him in a monumentally worse position than he was at before. There are countless other shows with similar themes. Many popular movies do this as well. The film series ‘Kill Bill’ by Quentin Tarantino pretty much revolves around that subject entirely. It can be wondered what it is that makes movies and television shows about revenge so popular with people, and the most likely answer lies in our society as a whole. A thirst for vengeance is a feeling everyone is familiar with and it is satisfying for us to watch others achieve it. Overall, revenge is a very common theme throughout the world we live in. It is something that is unlikely to change because it is just how we are wired. As humans, we can not help but get feelings of anger and retribution when we are wronged, but it should at least be known that most of the time, the actual act will only make a person feel worse than they did before in the long run. Society as a whole should be more accepting of the method of forgiveness as opposed to revenge as this is the only way to truly move on. “In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.” (Sir Francis Bacon. EmotionalCompetency.com)

Work Cited:

Poe, Edgar A. “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846) Web 03 Dec. 2013. This is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s Classic tales about revenge. I used this story as a starting off point for the theme of my essay, which revolves around revenge. This information is in my first body paragraph which dissects the story.

Poe, Edgar A. “Hop-Frog” (1850). Web 05 Dec. 2013 http://www.eapoe.org/works/tales/hopfrgb.htm. This is another Edgar Allan Poe story which also focuses on revenge. I used this story to show that in many stories revenge is a very common theme. This information is in my second body paragraph which dissects the story.

Stillwell, Arlene. Baumeister Roy, and Del Priore, Regan. “Basic and Applied Social Psychology” We’re all Victims Here: Toward a Psychology of Revenge. (2008) 253-263. Web 06 Dec. 2013. Academic Library- Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. This article explains the psychology revolving around revenge and does studies involving the subject. I used this article to help explain the psychology behind feelings of revenge. This information is in my third body paragraph.

Hughes, Martin. “Analysis” Forgiveness. (1975) 113-117 Web 06 Dec. 2013. Academic Library- JSTOR. In this entry, Hughes explains the concept of forgiveness and what it truly means. This information is used in the part of my essay that explains forgiveness.

Chavez, Adriana M. “Online Child Pornography Can Harm Victims for Life.” (2013) Web 06 Dec. 2013. Academic Library- Opposing Viewpoints. This article goes over the case of a girl who was sexually abused as a child and explains what she has gone through since the incident. This information is used in the paragraph that wonders if revenge is always such a bad thing in certain situations.

Sanders, Katie. “Revenge gone wrong: Teen driver crashes into New Port Richey home.” Tampa Bay Times. 05 Mar. 2010. Web 06 Dec. 2013. This article reports a case of revenge gone wrong in the form of a girl attempting to throw eggs at an ex-boyfriend’s car and causing a lot of property damage in the process. This information is used in the essay’s paragraph that explains how revenge can go wrong.

“Revenge – Getting Even” – No author listed. EmotionalCompetency.com – ND. Web 06 Dec. 2013. This web page helps further explain some of the concepts of revenge and forgiveness. This information is used in my essay’s paragraphs involving forgiveness. I also use a quote about revenge from this page.

Anonymous. Personal Interview. 05 Dec. 2013.
This is an interview i did of a friend who wanted to remain anonymous about a time he seeked revenge against an ex-girlfriend. I use this information in the area that involves revenge going wrong.

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

In all literature, and more specifically in essays or short stories there are a large number of literally elements used. The six most consistent ones are characters, plot, setting, symbols, point-of-view, and purpose. All of these together combine to create a vast number of novels, essays, and short stories that we all know today. Some of the best well-known stories are Hills like White Elephants by Hemmingway, Why we Crave Horror Movies by King, The Yellow Wallpaper by Gilman, and Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Bierce.

All of these stories have a few things in common, and that is the six literally elements mentioned before. Like the other pieces mentioned, The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe, also contains these literally elements.

To begin, The Cask of Amontillado is a very dark and mysterious tale of Montresor and his ‘Friend’ Fortunato. Throughout the story, it is told in first person so we don’t know the name of the narrator (Montresor) until the end.

In the beginning, the readers are told that in some form Fortunato has hurt Montresor, and he now wants revenge. Unfortunately, we are never told what was done to upset Montresor. When the actual story begins, we learn that Fortunato is very drunk and has a weakness for alcohol. Knowing this, Montresor lures and tempts Fortunato to come with him to where he supposedly keeps his very rare brandy called amontillado. The place that he takes him to happens to be a catacomb, or in other words an underground cemetery which happens to belong to the Montresor family. They proceed on a long through the catacomb, and continue to go deeper and deeper within it. Throughout the entire walk, Fortunato continues to drink and becomes even more drunk then he was at the start of the reading. Eventually, they get deep enough and Fortunato is trapped within the walls of the catacomb. Montresor chains him to the wall so he cannot escape, and puts bricks over the hole so he can’t escape. In the end, he leaves him there to die, and reveals the fact that this had happened fifty years ago. To me, this is a story that captures all of the literary elements quite well, and uses those elements to grab the reader’s attention.

One element we are all familiar with is the use of characters in a story. It is easy to say that 99% of all stories have some type of character in it. The actual definition of the word is a person representing a personality type, especially by emphasizing distinctive traits, as language, mannerisms, physical makeup, and so forth. In The Cask of Amontillado, we only really have two main characters: Fortunato and Montresor. Fortunato is described very well by Poe in the story. Things such as what he wears, how he talks, his love for alcohol, and his relation to Montresor all come in to play in this. Similarly, Montresor is all depicted well. He is mysterious, vengeful, smart, cunning, and obviously angry at Fortunato for some reason. All of these traits describing the characters in some way help create a more vivid and descriptive story. For instance, we learn that Fortunato has a problem with drinking. Knowing this, Montresor leads the already drunk man down in to a catacomb to where he eventually leaves him there to die. Without the characteristic of loving wine and brandy that was given to Fortunato by Poe, there would have been some skepticism to why he was dumb enough to follow Montresor in the first place.

In relation to characters, another main literary element is the plot. A plot is a plan, scheme, or the main story of dramatic literally work within a novel or story. Without a plot, there is no story to be told. It is the reason there is conflict in the story, and it keeps the readers interest alive. In The Cask of Amontillado, the plot is essentially Montresor wanting revenge on Fortunato for something that had happened in their past together. The simple idea of somebody wanting revenge led to the entire story told by Poe, and allowed other things such as characters, symbols and so forth to grow upon that idea. Not having a plot doesn’t just effect a story, it completely depletes it of having any interest.

One other element that adds more to a story is the setting. The setting consists of the time, place, physical details, and the circumstances in which a situation occurs. The setting is valuable to a story because it allows the reader to better see and understand how a story unfolds by relating certain physical details to a piece of literature. Essentially, it helps us create a picture in our mind, and allows our imagination to wander a bit. In the Cask for example, we are told that they go to an underground cemetery. This so perfectly fits the plot of the story in many ways. Not only is what is going on mysterious, but there is also death surrounding the two characters in the story. It just so happens that at the end of it, Fortunato ends up dead. Basically, in a story that is all about revenge and death, the setting is ironically in a place surrounded by death itself.

In nearly every short story, novel, essay, and so forth, authors consistently use symbols in their pieces. A symbol is an item that represents something or holds greater meaning than what would appears to the naked eye. They can range from a piece of clothing to a flower planted in the ground. It all depends upon how the author chooses to use it. I feel symbols are important because it gives the story its own personality, and creates a deeper meaning in most cases as well. An example from the story would be the clothing that Fortunato is wearing. At the start of the story we are told that he is wearing what appears to be the outfit of a clown or jester because of the festival they he is at. This outfit symbolizes how much of an idiot Montresor makes out of him in the story. He tricks the man wearing a dumb outfit right in to his own death, and he didn’t see it coming at all. Small details like this can add so much to a story, and especially so if more than one are present.

Similar to the other elements, POV or point-of-view can greatly affect a story. There are four basic POV’s that are used constantly: First person, Third-person objective, Third-person limited, and Omniscient. First person is the easiest in that the narrator only talks about things he or she sees, their own personal thoughts, and can’t tell us the thoughts of other characters. This is the POV used in The Cask of Amontillado. Third person objective is an outsider who can report only what he or she sees and hears. The narrator can tell us what is happening, but can’t tell us the thoughts of characters. Completely different from objective, Third person limited is someone who sees in to the minds of one of the characters. Lastly, Omniscient is somebody who is all knowing, and can enter the minds of all characters. This option gives the writer the most freedom. By reading the story in first person, we have the best understanding of how the character Montresor works. We know all of his secret thoughts, his motives, and so forth. Although we may not get to know all the details of Fortunato because of this, we gain in the fact that the story is more powerful and suspenseful not knowing what the other characters think. Overall, something as simple as perspective can change ones entire viewpoint of something, and that is why it can be so critical to how stories are written.

The last literally element to be discussed is the purpose. The purpose of the story is slightly different from the others in that it cannot really be seen in the story. It is more so what one gathers or interprets from what the author has written. In the most simplistic of definitions, it is the reasoning behind why the author, or in this case Poe, decided to write this piece. The purpose can be tied to the author’s intended message that he or she is trying to get to the readers. In my own personal opinion, I believe that Poe intended to write this story for pure entertainment purposes. In general, he wrote about things that were dark and death related. So when it comes to this story, there is nothing unusual about it. Maybe in his life, he came across a person that had done wrong to him, and this was his imagination coming on to paper. I think it’s a mystery only he knows the answer to. The rest of us are left to guess what actually drove him to write it.

In relation to the purpose of the story, I think that Poe tries to send us the readers an overall message. In The Cask of Amontillado the message is be careful how you treat others. No doubt, the Golden Rule is one message. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Montresor has taken insult upon insult from Fortunato. He has suffered a thousand injuries and has simply had enough. Because of the way he was treated, he now wants revenge. This is something that I picked up from reading the story, and I think is a message we can all pick up from it.

The reason I chose this story is because out of all the others we have read, this one was by far my favorite. It was pretty exciting at the end, and it was one I didn’t mind reading from front to back. I like stories that have to do with death, and Poe is certainly an expert at that. Also, the literally elements were very clear to me in this story compared to others. That doesn’t mean the other stories had poor use of them, it just means that I personally saw it better in this specific story, and in turn was able to write a better paper because of it.

The Cask of Amontillado is a great piece written by the author Edgar Allen Poe. It may not be his most famous work, but nonetheless, it’s still great. I think that he was able to capture each literary element to its full potential, and made it easy to find within the reading. If I were to be asked out of all the stories we have read this semester, which one is the best, I would say this one in a heartbeat.

Works Cited
Delaney, Bill. “Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado.” ProQuest. N.p., Fall 2005. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. Graham, Scott S. “Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado.” ProQuest. N.p., Winter 2004. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. Trimmer, Joseph F. The Sundance Introduction to Literature. Mason: Thomson Wadsworth, 2007. Print.

The Cask of Amontillado

1. How does the author desire the reader to feel while reading “The Cask of Amontillado”? I believe the author desires the readers to feel suspense and distressed to understand what’s going to occur next. I felt anxious attempting to figure what Montresor was going to do to Fortunato, I didn’t expect him to intoxicate him with wine and essentially bury him alive.

2. What methods does the author usage to assist you envision the place, the people, and the events that are taking location within the story? The author describes whatever extremely well.

He describes what Fortunato is wearing, he explains the vaults and what is inside and around them, the stink inside the vaults, and he utilizes numerous adjectives and uses images.

3. How has the author explained the characters to make them look like genuine individuals? Throughout the narrative the author describes what they are wearing and how they are feeling.

4. Does the author expect the reader to make an emotional connection to the story? Explain your answer.

I don’t think so, I could never give someone revenge just because they have been insulting me for so long. But I think if you have had previous bullying of such kind then you would want revenge. Towards the end though I did have an emotional connection because Montresor felt guilty of what he was doing to Fortunato and I felt bad for Fortunato as well.

5. Think back to the events that take place in “The Cask of Amontillado,” and think about the attitudes and actions of the characters. Now, write a theme statement for “The Cask of Amontillado.” I think that a good theme statement would be that revenge is not always the right way to handle things. Because Montresor was killing his friend, he felt guilt.

“The Cask of Amontillado”: Questions

Directions: Using complete sentences, answer the following questions about the themes in “The Cask of Amontillado”:

1. How does the author want the reader to feel while reading “The Cask of Amontillado”? The author wants the reader to feel indifferent, neither good nor bad

2. What techniques does the author use to help you visualize the place, the people, and the events that are taking place within the story?

The author uses the first person point of view of the unreliable Montresor. Montresor is unreliable because he really does not tell way he’s so upset with Fortunate

3. How has the author described the characters to make them seem like real people? The author use irony to make the characters seem real because the characters say something and do the opposite. Real people do that to.

4. Does the author expect the reader to make an emotional connection to the story? Explain your answer. In a way yes the author was bullied by Fortunato for years and what’s revenge.

People are bullied all the time by outer people.

5. Think back to the events that take place in “The Cask of Amontillado,” and think about the attitudes and actions of the characters. Now, write a theme statement for “The Cask of Amontillado.” The theme between confinement and freedom is extreme in “the cask of Amontillado.” One must die for another to live. The story mostly tasks place in a smelly catacomb, with dead bodies all over the place. Freedom becomes less and less of a possibility as they move farther and farther in to smaller crypts. In such confinement makes all readers and characters appreciate the fresh air.

Critical Lens Essay Quote

Nicholas Cage once said that, “I like flawed characters because somewhere in them I see more of the truth.” This quotes means that characters are much more unrealistic when they are perfect. Characters with flaws give the reader a more accurate view of humanity because all people have flaws.

The short story “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst and “The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe are two works of literature that support this quote. In both of these works, it is evident that the two main characters from both stories both have very tragic flaws.

These make the story more interesting to read because after reading it reveals the true nature of mankind. “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst shows that the narrator of the story has tragic flaws and being embarrassed of his disabled brother so he teaches him to walk. This short story is about the narrator trying to teach his disabled brother Doodle to walk because he is embarrassed to be related to someone who cannot walk.

The narrator eventually strains his brother to do more than walking. This short story supports the quote because the narrator is taking pride into training his little brother to walk because he is embarrassed to have a brother who can’t walk. The narrator pushes his brother into using his legs and walk. In the story it switches from person to person from person to self.

The author’s use of Characterization and conflict help to set the mood of the story. These literary elements help set the mood of the story which makes it more interesting to read as well as showing we can get too much pride over something. In conclusion an imperfect narrator or one with tragic flaws makes the story more interesting to the reader. It also reveals truth that people do not think of the consequences of what they are doing.

“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe shows that the narrator of the story wants to finally get his revenge on a man who has pride in his wine. This short story is about a man who wants to seek revenge on his friend Fortunato because of his great pride in wine. This short story supports the quote “I like flawed characters because somewhere in them I see more of the truth.” Because the narrator of the story wants to seek revenge on a man named Fortunato by using reverse psychology to get his drunk and then murdering him.

Everything in the story was planned by the narrator. The author’s use of setting and suspense helped the reader feel like they were in the story as well as makes it more interesting and reveals the truth that all humans are all revengeful at some point. In conclusion the narrator of this story is imperfect which makes this story more interesting. In conclusion, the quote by Nicolas Cage “ I like flawed characters because somewhere in them I see more of the truth.” means that characters are more realistic when they are not perfect. The titles “The Scarlet Ibis” and “The cask of Amontillado” both support this idea.

“The Scarlet Ibis” supports this quote because the narrator of the story is embarrassed to be with his brother Doodle because he is unable to walk. “The Cask of Amontillado” also supports this quote because the narrator of the story is imperfect because he is using reverse psychology to kill the man named Fortunato. This issue can connect to the real world because not only are characters from stories imperfect but people are also imperfect and have many flaws which is what makes us human beings.

The uses of reverse psychology in “The Cask of Amontillado”

“Neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued…to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his destruction.” These lines show us Montresor’s true intentions of deceiving Fortunato into death with out him knowing of it. A mission well accomplished thanks to the help of Reverse Psychology.

The ideal definition of reverse psychology is the ability to obtain something from someone with out asking for it.

How Montresor used reverse psychology against Fortunato into making him come down into his death trap is very interesting. The story begins around dusk, one evening during the carnival season (similar to the Mardi gras festival in New Orleans) in an unnamed European city. The location quickly changes from the lighthearted activities associated with such a festival to the damp, dark catacombs under Montresor’s palazzo which helps to establish the sinister atmosphere of the story.

It all starts when Montresor deceives his friend (Fortunato) into going down into the catacombs with him to give him some feedback or advice on the cask of amontillado hat he recently purchased.

Already knowing that Fortunato was a man of arrogance and overwhelming self pride, Montresor decides to use this to his advantage. He makes Fortunato eager to come taste his cask of amontillado by mentioning that he was on his way over to ask Luchesi whether he could come and give him some feed back on the new cask of amontillado that he recently purchased. Montresor knew that by saying this he would be triggering Fortunato’s overwhelming pride to take control of him and make him do things he would not do in normal circumstances. By saying this he made Fortunato want to come and willingly inspect the cask of amontillado.

Reverse psychology is the ability to make some one want to do something that they would not want to do normally. This is proven when Montresor doesn’t even ask Fortunato to come and inspect him amontillado. Yet Fortunato forces Montresor into taking him down into the vaults so he could taste the Amontillado (of coarse this is what Montresor had been waiting for all-night). The amazing Montresor amplifies Fortunato’s eagerness to taste the Amontillado even more when he mentions that he should go back since he is not in good shape (Fortunato was suffering from a slight cold) and that he would just call Luchesi and make him taste the amontillado instead. Fortunato’s reply was “Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. As for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish sherry from Amontillado”.

At this moment Montresor had come to an understanding that Fortunato had fallen into his trap, the more he persuaded him into not going down into the catacombs with him, the more he was eager to.

A victim to reverse psychology was Fortunato, and that was what lead him to his death. Finally Montresor and Fortunato entered the catacombs and walked towards where the amontillado supposedly was. It is here where Montresor builds a wall around the intoxicated Fortunato, and it is here where Fortunato dies as a victim of his pride, and most importantly as a victim of reverse psychology.

The Black Cat and the Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allen Poe, the author of “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado”, wrote both short stories in similar ways, but at the same time the two are very different.

The Black Cat and The Cask of Amontillado are very similar in some ways. Both include a lot of symbolism. In the Black Cat, the narrator calls his cat Pluto, to symbolize death and the underworld, and in The Cask of Amontillado, the coat of arms and the Montresor family motto are symbolic of Montresor’s evil character, which, like the serpent in the insignia, intends to get revenge.

In both stories, the narrator tries to convince the audience that he is sane, and only trying to do what is right. This insistence shows that the narrator is insane and capable of doing insane things.

A man with a distorted view of reality explains the events in both the stories. The enclosure theory plays a large part in The Black Cat and the Cask of Amontillado.

In the Black Cat, the narrator walls up his dead wife and the cat, while in the Cask of Amontillado, Montresor walls Fortunato behind a wall to kill him. Montresor and the narrator of the Black Cat are both seeking revenge for wrongs done to them. Both stories force the reader to look into the inner workings of a murderer’s mind.

Although they are very similar, the Black Cat and the Cask of Amontillado have many differences. The Cask of Amontillado is a very ironic story, whereas the Black Cat is very ambiguous. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a powerful tale of revenge while the Black Cat is psychological study of domestic violence and guilt, but, unlike the “Cask of Amontillado”, this story does not deal with premeditated murder. In the Cask of Amontillado, Montresor meant to kill Fortunato, but in The Black Cat, the narrator was trying to kill the cat when he inadvertently killed his wife.

“The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado” were written at about the same time during Poe’s life. They show many things that he was experiencing during this time period, but they also show his short time emotions and feelings. The stories were similar in the motives behind them, with horrific themes and plots, but were different in the minute.

Cask of Amontialldo – Character Traits

The character of Montresor in, “The Cask of Amontillado” is one who can only be defined with words along the lines of evil, or wicked. He vows to avenge the bold and childish Fortunato, whom Montresor swears did him wrong. Montresor could be described with many bold words, one being guilty. Though he is guilty, he is determined not to get caught. For instance, Montresor declares, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity” (Poe, 1). Essentially, he is saying he will seek revenge on Fortunato, but he will get away with the vicious crime.

Another obvious character trait for the devious Montresor, is dishonest.

He claims to have obtained a cask of Amontillado, when the reader can tell through situational irony this is not true. He claims, “… I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, but I have my doubts” (Poe 1). Fortunato unknowingly follows the fiend, and in theory, seals his own fate. Montresor is also quite sneaky.

He slyly gets Fortunato into a small inlet in his wine cellar– also a home for skeletal remains. He hastily chains him up before the poor Fortunato can even realize what’s happening.

Explaining the situation, Montresor says, “… inding his progress arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered… a moment more and i fettered him to the granite” (Poe 4). Lastly, Montresor is just plain mysterious. Readers never know exactly why he decided to go after Fortunato, but it is hinted he offended the killer in some way. When asked about his coat of arms, Montresor blatantly states, “A human foot… the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” (Poe 3). The motto underneath is “nemo me impune lacessit” (Poe 3). To conclude, Montresor plays not only a degrading character, but one of many evils.

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe – Suspense, Irony, Symbolism

Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words-so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Edgar Allan Poe is one of the many few that has a very effective style of writing. By using various effects in his short stories, he draws his audience in and grabs their attention from the very beginning. Due to his unique system of writing, Poe has a way of controlling the majority of his readers’ feelings, or emotions.

He has mastered the art of writing by disciplining himself to use specific words and styles in which he can affect his readers in any way he chooses to make them think or feel. Poe uses suspense, irony, and symbolism to seize his readers’ attention in almost every single one of his stories. Poe effectively uses these expressions to cause each of his readers to experience a certain emotion or feeling while reading his stories.

In Poe’s story “The Black Cat”, right off the bat he begins intriguing his reader with suspense. He writes a first person account of how he has done something bad. As he starts to explain what he has done, he continuously interrupts himself to remind the reader that he was not in his right mind and he came up with excuses as to what it is he had done. Then, he goes on to write, “Yet, mad am I not – and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul.” (Poe 11) This is his way of explaining that the narrator would be dead by the next day. This causes the reader to experience even more suspense and anxiousness by wondering what will happen to him. Poe takes his time explaining this story, which automatically makes the reader accept the suspense of their own curiosity as to what the outcome will be.

Irony is another immense effect of Poe’s writing style. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, he uses irony to describe his characters’ names, dressing styles, and even the setting of the story. Fortunato’s name is a witticism to the word fortune. His name can also be interpreted as the fortunate one which is a misnomer in itself since he ends up being the most unfortunate character by the end of the story. “He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. (Poe )” According to Poe, Fortunato’s outfit is a mockery since he is the victim of the story so by dressing up as a Jester he is symbolizing his own fate. The setting of the story is at a carnival where people are just being merry, getting drunk and having fun. However, in the end Fortunato’s fate is anything but blissful. Last but certainly not least, Edgar Allan Poe uses symbolism as an essential key in many of his narratives.

In “The Pit and the Pendulum”, the pendulum itself is a symbol of death. “It was the painted picture of Time as he is commonly represented, save that, in lieu of a scythe, he held what, at a casual glance, I supposed to be the pictured image of a huge pendulum, such as we see on antique clocks. (Poe 272)” It operates like the pendulum in a clock, slowly ticking. Each swing represents a second closer to his untimely death. The rats symbolize second chances. Poe takes something that seems evil and makes it into something that ends up saving the man from a gruesome death. Due to the setting of the Spanish Inquisition mentioned in the story, when the man was about to fall into the pit, the French saved him right as he was about to die. This could easily symbolize a Savior, or God saving the sinner.

Even though the man deserved death for what he had done, he was given a gracious second chance and was saved in the end. It paints a relative picture for us as Christians in our own lives. Each and every one of us deserves a horrible, unimaginative death. However, God in His gracious being has given each and every one of us an innumerable amount of second chances. We have been given the opportunity to repent of our sins, turn from them and follow God. If we believe in Him and all that He has done for us, we have the opportunity to receive the gift of salvation and an eternal life with Jesus in heaven.

Poe’s stories demonstrate many different effects in order to capture his readers. Many of his stories use certain styles of writing that affect the audience in different ways. Whether it is positive or negative, anyone reading Poe’s writings will be influenced in some way or another. He uses distinct effects to make an imprint on the reader in his own unique ways. Suspense, irony and symbolism are a few of the various effects he uses to properly write his stories. Edgar Allan Poe has mastered the art of writing so that makes his reader feels as if they are experiencing his story in a way that feels like it is their own personal reality.

The Cask of Amontillado vs. the Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask Of Amontillado, both written by Edgar Allan Poe in the 18th century, are two tales that shows how Poe focused on the dark and mysterious. Both stories being written by the same author has a few similarities however there are also some differences. The narrator of The Tell-Tale Heart begins by persuading the reader that he is not mad, simply because he feels that his senses have been sharpened and he was ever so wise enough to stalk his victim throughout the night at midnight without being suspected of it.

He also stated more than once that he was nervous.

Mean while, Montressor in The Cask Of Amontillado seemed to be very confident . He is some what arrogant that he would be able to follow through with his plans of revenge on Fortunato. As the story continues in The Tell-Tale Heart, while trying to claim his sanity he explained just how much he was disturbed by the eye of an old man.

“Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! “(The Tell-Tale Heart,1984,paragrapgh 2).

With that being said the narrator had no rational reason to commit such a crime. In Contrast, Montressor thinks that Fortunato is very deserving of his death due to the “thousand injuries” that Fortunato has committed. However, this story doesn’t reveal exactly what wrong was done to Montressor. Similarly, both stories involve elements of death where the narrators harm another human being.

Montressor and the Narrator who seems to be some kind of caregiver of the old man in The Tell-Tale Heart are both considered the antagonists in the stories and were both conveyed through the murderer’s perspective. The use of a deranged first-person narrator amplifies the dramatic impact of the tale and this takes place through the story’s visual, aural, and poetical dimensions. Because he sees the crime carried out from the narrator’s perspective, the reader’s imagination is concentrated upon the same visual elements with which the narrator is obsessed. ” (2010 eNotes. com, p. 12) Furthermore, being that both characters are completely obsessed with their horrifying plans it leaves me to believe that Montressors’ sanity is up for question also.

He felt that the insult caused by Fortunato was great enough that death was his only way of avenging himself. In addition, Poe conveys both stories through the murderer’s perspective. “Something that I have picked up on, early in the story when Montressor suggests that he shall fetch Luchesi, and Fortunato says over, and over again in several different places, “Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado” I find this ironic because Fortunato cannot distinguish friend from foe – so what makes him so much better a good judge? (Amelia Tibbett,2008,paragraph 4).

This also shows how questionable his knowledge of wine actually is because Amontillado is indeed a Sherry. Lastly, As sane as the narrator claimed to be he began to hear the heartbeat of the old man beneath the floorboards where his body laid. The tale ended with the narrator confessing to the crime to three policemen who he thought also heard the loud beating of the old man’s heart. On the contrary, Montressor mentions that 50 years has passed and no one has discovered his terrible deed.

He doesn’t even seem the least bit bothered by it and even mentions at the end of the story, may Fortunato rests in peace. Both The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado are two stories where Edgar Allan Poe shows distinctive characteristics in the narrators. By reading these two stories you can almost tell that they are by the same author even though the plot and characters are different. Yet, the writing still is very much the same.