“The Cask of Amontillado” is a narrative written by Edgar Allen Poe, and unlike most stories, the storyteller might or may not be trusted with the realities that he presents. The story is about the narrator, Montresor, who vengefully tricks his “poor pal” (Poe 109) Fortunato into following him to his own death. As the storyteller, Montresor, recites the story, you can see the swing in his mental state from vengeful to the complete opposite feeling of pity. There are lots of factors regarding why Montresor would be thought about an unreliable storyteller, however there are also a couple of as to why he would be thought about dependable. This paper is going to discuss the factors behind why Montresor might be stated as both, and the reasons behind why Montresor wanted vengeance. We will begin by looking at what the critics have to say about the story, and then move onto what I have to say about the story.
As mentioned before, some critics say that Montresor is a dependable narrator in the information he is using to the reader, while others state that he is totally undependable in the information provided. I personally agree with both sides of the critics. I think that Montresor might be considered both a trusted and an undependable narrator. Through out this paper, we are going to check out the reasons why the critics think that Montresor is a dependable storyteller and why he is considered an undependable storyteller. We are also going to look at my personal factors regarding why I believe he is both reputable and undependable.
To start, we will look at the factors regarding why critics think that he is a reliable storyteller. One critic suggests that whatever that Montresor states is “best taken literally, for if they are, other information fall into place” (St. John Stott, Graham). So this critics argument is to just rely on Montresor in his descriptions regarding what is going on based simply on the fact that it makes the story simpler to comprehend if you aren’t second guessing everything that is being described to you. That is the only info that I could discover on why to rely on Montresor as a storyteller, and now to talk about why critics and I consider him unreliable.
Now, Montresor is referred to as an unreliable narrator for a couple of primary reasons. The main one is that Montresor is a killer, and it’s difficult to trust someone who kills individuals particularly when his only factor to eliminate Fortunato is that “he ventured upon insult” (Poe 107). Also, when Montresor is telling the story, it’s tough to tell whether the events occurring remain in a sequential prompt order with one event occurring right after the other. For example, he mentions that his “bad good friend discovered it difficult to reply for lots of minutes” (Poe 109). That reality that he states that he didn’t reply for minutes could have meant that he didn’t reply for an hour for all we know as an audience. Another thing is that Montresor appears to leave out evidence. Even from the quote above there is an absence of evidence regarding why he discovered it difficult to respond. All he states is that he had a cough, but he doesn’t ever describe where it originated from.
This brings us to why Montresor might be considered a reliable storyteller. As Fortunato was coughing, Montresor asks if he wishes to return to the celebration that they originated from multiple times, however Fortunato declines saying “I will not pass away of a cough” and Montresor responds saying, “True” (Poe 109). At this time, Montresor is being dependable and doing a little foreshadowing due to the fact that he understands that Fortunato will not pass away of a cough, rather he is going to die of appetite and thirst because Montresor set it up that method. Another time that Montresor appears reputable is when he is locking Fortunato up. Fortunato weeps out to Montresor “for the love of god, Montresor, have pity on me!” and Montresor, now that his bottled-up fury is dissipating, actually does feel pity” (Delaney 39). The truth that Montresor feels pity makes him seem like he actually has human feelings again, and it provides the reader an idea that maybe he isn’t all that bad.
Now we will move onto what some critics’ opinions are regarding why Montresor desired vengeance on Fortunado. One critic states that “As Montresor himself remarks, Fortunado is the golden young boy, ‘rich, respected, admired, cherished, … pleased …'”(Gruesser). Montresor, sadly, was not so fortunate. He mentions that he as soon as was, however “he has actually lost his status or contentment. To somebody who is unfortunate, like Montresor, Fortunato’s happiness is an everyday injury” (Gruesser). So because of that, Montresor feels the need to develop a master strategy to bring justice to Fortunato. All critics concur that it was an act of revenge. Personally, I think that it was absolutely an act of vengeance, but without excellent factor. If Montresor does give a real solid reason, Poe hides it effectively in his writing. I think that Montresor was simply jealous evaluating by what Gruesser’s viewpoint was on the scenario. There should be more of a factor though.
One critic recommends that “He has his reasons for what he does, and these are factors that we must have the ability to comprehend. There lies a deeper horror in the story” (White). This critic suggests that there must be a good enough factor for what he did so that he can feel warranted after doing what needed to be done in Montresor’s mind. “Montresor is so convinced of his right in performing his strategy of revenge that he can speak of the killing of Fortunato as an ‘immolation’ (1257 ). We need not go so far regarding see him presuming the role of a priest carrying out the ritual killing of a sacrificial victim, as some analysts on the story have actually done; but we ought to have the ability to comprehend that, provided his family imperatives, he may well have the ability to see himself as an individual performing a quasi-sacred task” (White). I concur that there should have been some kind of reason behind why Montresor felt the need to perform the task, but I also think that Montresor might extremely well have just been insane.
This brings us to our next topic. Some critics suggest that Montresor was on a “lunatic or Hellish pursuit of vengeance” (White). After going through numerous short articles, I have actually seen a pattern in a spiritual element to the story stating that Montresor was satanic, but one critic specified, “Montresor has actually unintentionally reenacted the crucifixion” (Gruesser). A huge reason regarding why individuals have brought religion into the picture is due to the fact that of one line in the story, which is when Fortunado sobs out to Montresor to stop what he is doing he states “For the love of God Montresor.” “Fortunado’s cry is both a plea for grace and a warning to Montresor to keep in mind his own end and consider the afterlife” (Gruesser). According to Gruesser, when Montresor responded saying “Yes … for the love of God!” He was making a point to break god, “damning himself for all time” (Gruesser). Other critics recommend that Montresor was simply mentally ill.
This brings us to the next point in the story, which is when Montresor begins to feel pity for the male he is killing. Montresor provides Fortunado many opportunities to conserve himself. This makes the reader believe that there might be a possibility that Montresor doesn’t always want to totally go through with the murder, however he continues making ironic remarks that are foreshadowing for what is going to occur. “Once he has actually penalized Fortunato to his fulfillment, he can now sympathize with his victim. Fortunado’s plea is only half-stated: the other half is implied. He implies, in effect, ‘For the love of God Montresor, have pity on me!’ and Montresor, now that his pent up fury is dissipating in fact does feel pity” (Delaney).
That situation is completely odd to me since the story is being told 50 years down the line. I thought that since Montresor was sympathizing with Fortunado, he would regret what he had done in that moment, however he reveals no remorse because aspect. I think that Poe is simply revealing that Montresor has typical human sensations just like everyone else, but he still doesn’t regret what he has actually done because Montresor can’t let Fortunado leave from “the thousands of injuries” he has actually already inflicted on him.
The next subject this paper is going to check out is all of the irony and foreshadowing in the story. We will begin by looking at the tile of “The Cask of Amontillado.” The word “cask” indicates wine barrel, however it is the root for the word coffin which suggests a casket. So you could argue that it is rather paradoxical that the word “cask” in the title was indicated to figuratively represent Fortunado’s coffin. Something else that is ironic is Fortunado’s name it self. When you state Fortunado, you can easily see that the word “fortune” is within it. This is exceptionally paradoxical due to the fact that when you consider fortune, you think of all the best, but Fortunado has absolutely anything but best of luck. He is being caused his own death and there is nothing that he thinks at all.
Another example of symbolic irony is the manner in which Fortunado is dressed. He is using a jester’s outfit. This is very ironic because he is deceived into being following Montresor to his own death. Montresor gives him a lot of chances to turn back and foolishly, Fortunado rejects every one of his opportunities to get away. It’s rather humorous that he keeps denying the chances since as a reader you can see that Montresor is certainly approximately something, but Fortunado is so blinded to it. Another example of paradox is when Fortunado asks Montresor if he is a mason, and Montresor reacts stating he is a mason, but Fortunado indicated the concern asking if he was a part of the Freemasons. When Montresor reacted, he did not indicate that he was a part of the Freemasons, but instead he implied that he was an artisan that constructs with stone. This is ironic since Montresor will be constructing Fortunado’s burial place constructed out of stone.
Poe likewise uses a lot of paradox within the discussion in between Montresor and Fortunado. For example, the first time Montresor speak to Fortunado he states, “My dear Fortunado, you are luckily met.” This is ironic due to the fact that he is not thankfully fulfilled at all. He is more like unluckily satisfied. Another example is when Montresor and Fortunado remain in the tunnel going to where Montresor is going to cave him in. Fortunado starts to cough for a reason that is not discussed, but Montresor responds to this specifying that “We will go back, your health is valuable. You are abundant, highly regarded, appreciated, beloved; You enjoy, as I once was. You are a male to be missed out on.” That is clearly a load of crap that he is stating that, however Fortunado reacts saying that “The cough is a simple absolutely nothing; it will not eliminate me. I will not pass away of a cough.” And to that Montresor responds stating “true,” because Fortunado is right. He will not die of a cough, however he will die of something much even worse.
Now it is time to recap. This paper began by speaking about whether Montresor was a reliable narrator or not. In the end, I need to agree with St. John Stott and Graham when they stated the story is “finest taken literally, for if they are, other information form” (St. John Stott, Graham). If the story is not informed in genuine time and if you can’t trust the narrator, then the whole story is a bust since it is impossible to know what is actual real and what isn’t. That ruins the entire point of checking out a story if you can’t rely on anything that you are reading, or if you have to over evaluate every spec of the story to learn what is going on. It simply takes a lot away from the story, so I believe it’s finest to simply trust what the narrator is mentioning and proceed from there. Although there are lots of reasons Montresor might be considered undependable, it is much better trust what he is specifying as he is specifying it because it just makes the reading a lot easier.
Next, this paper began speaking about reasons to why Montresor eliminated Fortunado. As one critic suggested, “He has his factors for what he does, and these are reasons that we should be able to comprehend. There lies a deeper scary in the story” (White). I need to agree with this critic due to the fact that no one does something for no reason. It simply depends upon what Fortunado did that made him desire revenge so bad to make a master strategy to take him out and really go through with it. The only reason Montresor provides you for eliminating Fortunato is that “he ventured upon insult” (Poe 107). After looking into and finding other critics opinions as to why he did what he did, the only affordable reason is jealousy. “As Montresor himself remarks, Fortunado is the golden kid, ‘rich, highly regarded, admired, beloved, … delighted …'”(Gruesser). That is what made me think that. Montresor goes onto state that he was not so fortunate. This makes me believe that the primary reason that Montresor went through with it is due to the fact that Fortunado’s joy was such a bother to him. His jealousy must have driven him enough to go through with killing a man who most likely has actually never ever actually done him much damage. Also, he very well may have been in an ill mental state because any person in his/her right would not have actually done such a ghastly job.
After reading through The Cask of Amontillado, I thought whatever that the narrator was saying right away, but after considering it for a while, my thoughts altered. The reason why is since the storyteller seems to be unreliable, a minimum of in most cases. The first time checking out the story, I believed that all of the occasions taking place were one after the other with little time in between, however after thinking about it, my mind altered. It seems as if there might have been long amount of times between the events taking place. For example Montresor states that his “bad good friend found it impossible to reply for lots of minutes” (Poe 109). This might have suggested any quantity of time, and who knows what the narrator did to him to make him that method. Another reason is just based simply on the truth that he is a killer. It makes it difficult to trust that he is telling the complete truth. The last reason I believe that he is undependable is due to the fact that he never gives a genuine factor for even eliminating Fortunado. He just says that he has “ventured upon insult” (Poe 107), but that could mean anything.
After looking into “The Cask of Amontillado,” I understood that I had missed a lot of crucial details within the story. The information changed my viewpoints drastically on what was going on. Specifically with a factor as to why Montresor would do something so horrid. I really liked when the one thing that the critic mentioned which was that “As Montresor himself remarks, Fortunado is the golden boy, ‘rich, reputable, appreciated, cherished, … happy …'”(Gruesser). This meant that Montresor needs to have been envious. When you read you can see the hatred, however it appears to be for no factor. After hearing this concept, and reading through the story again, it makes far more sense. White specified that there must be a reason regarding why he did it, and the factor needs to’ve been relatable to a typical person, which is the most ghastly part. I believe the reason that needs to be the most horrid part is since if it is relatable to the majority of everybody, then that means we all have the possible to do such a bad thing over the feeing of jealousy and anger. So any person who experiences jealousy and anger can connect to the sensation and the satisfaction of vengeance. That is real type of a scary thought that Poe may have been trying to highlight of the reader. Suggesting that anyone can connect to such an act of revenge, but feel pity at the same time when you recognize that maybe it wasn’t worth it.
In conclusion, what others state compared to what I state is fairly closely related. I have actually concerned the conclusion to trust Montresor in what he is saying. Also, I have actually concerned the conclusion that Montresor may have been simply a regular guy who was just experiencing really strong jealousy, and this makes it frightening that any person can potentially relate. Poe uses amazing paradox and foreshadowing, and some comical gestures that make the story extremely interesting.