The Cask of Amontillado Research Essay

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Literature ・MLA ・1 Sources

The theme in a tale, or within the plot of a given story, is the depiction of a topical issue(s) that runs throughout the story, but it cannot be sufficient to introduce taste into the story without other elements such as tone, symbolism, descriptive descriptions, and other imagery and metaphors that can be used in the story's imagery and metaphors. It can be used by the author to convey concepts in a variety of ways, including proverbs and metaphors. It is not the same as a topic that communicates terms like bravery, survival, or determination etc. but an idea the author would wish to relay on that given subject.

In the story “The Cask of Amontillado.”, the author brought out the theme of freedom and confinement in an extreme manner whereby one character becomes free by killing another character. Large part of this story as, brought by the author, is taking place in an isolated, smelling catacomb and underground graveyard where there are bones everywhere as a sign that there are dead people abound. The freedom space continues narrowing as the author takes us through the characters into ever reducing crypts. At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious… (pg183.). We tend to appreciate such confinements the author is imposing on us the readers and the characters into appreciating the significance of fresh air and freedom space that we normally take for granted.

Now that Montresor has killed Fortunato, his freedom in mind and soul has been confined into the evil he did to Fortunato into writing this story hence showing that much as he killed Fortunato for freedom and revenge, his psychological freedom and psychological confinement has been trapped by that act. Fortunato is likely never going to survive as he has been fully confined by Montresor, who described himself as having been doing hard labor hence has experience and perfection enough to make no mistake in his duty of confinement of burying

The author in “The Cask of Amontillado” is bold enough to relay to us frightening incidences of death, corpses, and bones. Such occurrences and acts of an author makes one to see the gloom and dark moments of a person. The author has shown how much he is so immortal enough to include such scary and frightening matters into a story. Deaths symbolized through the presence of bones and the graveyard is the author’s quest to display to his audience the extremes he can go in explaining a point. Montresor has shown how much he is immortality when he killed Fortuna by burying him alive and he himself is now happy and free from the chains of Fortuna rather than being sorrowful of the death he has caused. The author in his side, has shown some mortalities his literacy work when he portrayed Fortuna as having acquired his wealth through luck which symbolically means Fortuna uses fortunes , as his name implies and that he might be having some connection to the secret sect - freemasonry whose wealth are acquired through luck and symbols displaying.

Faults, weaknesses, foolishness and revenge has dominated in this story. These human traits have cost lives where the author shows the character- Montresor burying his fellow human in such an inhuman ways shows how much foolishness and revenge can compel one into doing that which is beyond humanity. The act, much as Montresor is seeing it as a justice he is doing to himself, is beyond reproach as he has done more harm than good to Fortunato. The play has only two characters but their acts portrays how humans tend to act to situations that are so unbecoming in their time of despair. The two characters should have solved their issues and settle on an agreement rather than opting to killing each other. Such deeds and actions are brought out by the author as an eye opener to the ruthlessness to which the humanity can at times possess. Such acts are avoidable and can only be possible through acts of forgiveness and solving issues diplomatically.

The theme of symbolism is dominant in this story. The names of the characters are symbols in that they are named according to what they represent and/or stand for. The name Fortunato is a symbol in that it means symbols of fortunes that he has been using to acquire his wealth. This is became ironic when he was not fortune enough to escape the revenge and deeds of Montresor of burying him alive. Montresor on his side has been given this name to symbolize the hard labor he has been doing to acquire his wealth. This is evident in the following lines:

"You are not of the masons."

"Yes, yes," I said; "yes, yes."

"You? Impossible! A mason?"

"A mason," I replied. …….(pg. 182)

The way he also buried Fortunato is clear prove of how much he has artistry and expertise in the field of masonry and plumbing

Drugs and alcohol in the society remains to be a menace. In this story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, the drug wine has been touched on. It has been used to show how much it worked against Fortunato into being buried alive. Fortunato was drunk and Montresor knew that this was the best moment to execute revenge was high on wine and therefore was vulnerable. In this play also, drugs can be used as an implication of the level of addiction and obsession one has on something. Fortunato was obsessed and addicted to signs and wealth whereas Montresor was addicted and obsessed by revenge. These two factors worked against the two characters in that foolishness and revenge led Montresor to kill Fortunato whereas property obsession made Fortunato into bragging and despising the hardworking Montresor, which properly could be the reason that made Montresor to revenge. This is evident in the line: The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult … (pg. 179).

The author has gone a greater extent of showing us a lot about the two characters through the above themes. The message has been relayed in a clear manner because the author has used his artistry and literacy knowledge on how to execute the literature element of THEME throughout the story.

Work Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.” The Norton Introduction to Literature, Shorter 12th ed., edited by Kelly J. Mays, Norton, 2016, pp. 178-184

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