The Manipulation of the Reader with the Narrator in The Cask of Amontillado

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

In “The Cask of Amontillado,” the story is told in first person point-of view. This makes the context sound more personal. The narrator is the character, Montresor. He expresses his point-of-view in a vile, merciless, vengeful and conniving way. He confesses his revenge on his friend Fortunato based on his obsessive hatred for Fortunato who he claims to have successively offend him countless times topped with an unforgivable insult. He thinks murdering Fortunato was the right way to handle the situation.

The narrator is unreliable. The story is biased and does not tell precise accounts of events, which leads the reader to believe the narrator is not trustworthy. When he stated, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best can, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge,” (Poe 115) there is no relevant evidence of how Fortunato had insulted Montresor. The accusation might not be true. Towards the end of the story, when Montresor mentions, “For the half a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat,” (Poe 121) the narrator, Montresor is leading us to believe that the events have happened fifty years ago in committing a crime against Fortunato.

Montresor manipulates Fortunato by leading him to believe a rare wine bottle is stored in his wine cellar deep within his family’s catacombs. He further manipulates Fortunato by bringing up Luchresi, Fortunato’s wine rival, into the conversation. When he says, “I am on my way to Luchresi. If anyone has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me—,’ (Poe 116) Fortunato quickly responds, “Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry,” (Poe 116). Montresor also keeps Fortunato drunk as they venture deeper and deeper into the catacombs. “Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row if its fellows that lay upon the mould. “Drink,” I said, presenting him the wine,” (Poe 118). Montresor’s actions tell us readers that he is a ruthless killer. He tries to justify his reasons for murdering Fortunato. As for Fortunato, he is a vulnerable character. His weaknesses (pride, addiction and trust) led him to his death. “Orientation,” is told in a second-person narration. This technique has us readers turn ourselves into the character in the story. Daniel probably wants the readers to embark on a journey as the character. Moreover, once the readers submerge completely into the story, the readers can effectively communicate how each moment feels.

In “The Rocking Horse Winner,” Paul is the protagonist. He is a young small boy with big emotions who longs for his mother’s love and affection. He is determined to bring luck to his mother. The intensity of his emotions is too much for him to handle. His young mind cannot outsize his emotions, which led to his death. The antagonist is Paul’s mother, Hester. She is very unhappy with her husband and struggles to up bring her talents. Although, she may appear as a devoted mother, her kids know that she is annoyed with her responsibilities. She is indifferent to her kids.

Throughout the story, Paul is a round and dynamic character. When Paul becomes aware of the subtext of what is happening in his house, he obsessively wants to make money for his mother. To earn his mother’s love, he becomes obsessed with luck. As for Hester, her character is flat and static. She keeps her personality traits until the end. She doesn’t appear to show any remorse when Paul was on his death bed or after he has passed away.

I believe that the text encourages us to sympathize with Paul. He, as a child, works hard just to please his mother and to earn his mother’s affection. He went through so much throughout the story that cost him his life. I think the story encourages us to view one of these characters negatively. Hester reveals she is emotionally dark and has a negative attitude. She does not feel and display any love towards her children. She is greedy, selfish and blames her husband for not having any luck.


Read more