For a story to be a good story, it has to keep the audience thinking during and long after the story is finished, through its display of literary elements. “The Cask of Amontillado”, by Edgar Allan Poe has many literary elements that give identity to the story. Through point of view, the audience enters the story through the mind of a madman, a man that if the audience had a choice, would keep their distance from. Through theme, the venom of revenge is pierced into the minds of the readers. Through internal conflict, the readers are forced to take a deeper look into the story to figure out Montresor.
The Cask of the Amontillado” is the best short story we have read because its elements lead us on an exciting journey. In this story, the point of view makes a huge difference of the reader’s takeaway. Montresor’s thoughts are so vindictive it’s hard to believe. “I continued, as my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation” (Poe 59). Montresor states here that he smiles at Fortunato, but his smile is deceptive. He is smiling only because he knows that he will carry out a plan later which will destroy Fortunato.
If the audience would have viewed this exchange through Fortunato’s eyes, Montresor’s smile would be perceived as a friendly one, which is far from the truth. This story differs from the other short Punni 2 stories because the readers have no other choice but to read and try to comprehend Montresor’s madness, which keeps us on our toes. The audience should be in awe of the utter betrayal that Montresor displays in just this one sentence. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, the theme of revenge drives this entire story.
Montresor betrays a so-called friend in order to get revenge for an unnamed reason. “ ‘A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel. ’ ‘And the motto? ’ ‘Nemo me impune lacessit. ’(Nobody provokes me with impunity). ” (Poe 61). Here Montresor slyly lets Fortunato in on what he plans to do to him. Obviously Montresor feels like Fortunato is the serpent rampant, and he has to crush him because as he said, nobody provokes him with impunity. This means that Fortunato will not get away with whatever he did to Montresor.
I think that this whole story is driven by revenge because Montresor made up a cask, just to lure Fortunato into a trap. He went through all that trouble make sure Fortunato got what he deserved. The literary element that doesn’t exactly meet the eye, but is definitely present in the story is internal conflict. Although Montresor is a madman, he still has a regular human moment that changes everything. “There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick-on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labor ” (Poe 64).
This piece of textual evidence occurs after Montresor calls out Fortunato’s name and gets no answer. The jingling of bells symbolises a subtle requiem for Fortunato. There is a reason why there is a break between Montresor saying his heart grew sick and then blaming it on the dampness. It is because for a second, even a split second, Montresor felt remorse for chaining Punni 3 up someone he considered a friend for so long. Maybe it’s because he realizes that with the unresponsiveness of Fortunato, this form of revenge isn’t a game of teasing like Montresor had done earlier.
This is important because it means that Montresor isn’t a complete sociopath because he shows remorse. I think he really fought within himself because the high of the successful revenge plot faded out. Also he says he hastened to finish his work. I think he quickly finished because he could feel inside himself that he could have been on the verge of letting Fortunato free, so he had to finish fast before he went through with the new idea. I think Montresor pushed himself to finish the job by telling himself that it’s what he wanted. Montresor felt that revenge wasn’t as fulfilling as it seemed.
Even if Montresor crazily planned the entire incident out, I don’t think he could fully prepare himself for what he was going to do. Through internal conflict, we see a more human side to Montresor that makes the readers view him in a slightly different light, and maybe even sympathize with him a tiny bit. To comprehend “The Cask of Amontillado” takes deep thought and pondering during and after the story. Using the point of view of someone we would normally view as the antagonist, we have to force ourselves to understand Montresor, which I thought was good.
It took readers out of their comfort zones. Through the theme of bitter revenge, our minds are poisoned with the radical thoughts and actions of Montresor, but perhaps us as readers are masters of revenge, because on some level we could connect with Montresor. Although it might not lead us to chain our friends in cellars, we still sometimes have thoughts like Montresor, but just may not act upon them. The theme makes us dig not only into Montresor’s heart, but also our own hearts, to see Punni 4 what dangerous vengeance may lie there.
This story leaves us with a chilling impression of Montresor based on his actions and crazy thoughts, but through the thoughts that are whispered in internal conflict is where true understanding comes in. Montresor fights within himself, but it’s up to the readers to pick apart how and why. This leads to readers sympathizing with and understanding the last person they thought they would in this story. The elements in “The Cask of Amontillado” give readers insight on the story that just isn’t as solid in other stories. The memorable, jaw-dropping, and head-scratching quotes of Montresor will keep readers intrigued forever.
Overall, “The Cask of Amontillado” is a complex and thought-provoking tale that forces readers to confront their own emotions and consider the motivations of the characters. The use of first-person perspective and internal conflict adds depth and complexity to the story, and the theme of bitter revenge makes us reflect on our own thoughts and actions. While the story is chilling and disturbing, it also invites us to try and understand Montresor and the choices he makes. The memorable quotes and elements of the story will stay with readers long after they have finished reading, encouraging them to continue thinking and exploring the themes and ideas presented in the tale.