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An Attention To Detail: The Cask Of Amontillado

928 words - 4 pages

In Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Cask of Amontillado the main character Montresor tricks his friend Fortunato into his catacombs and buries him alive. Edgar Allen Poe’s character commits this deed out of a need for revenge because of some hurt that was committed against him. Poe conveys this need for revenge through his attention to the small details within his story.
Poe’s naming of his characters was not something that happened by chance. Poe used names that had specific meanings and translations that would match well with his two characters. “Tresor comes from thesaurus, meaning a storehouse or hoard; Fortunato derives from fortunatus, translated as made prosperous or happy” (Gruesser). In the story Montresor not only has a literal storehouse, his family catacomb, but he is also storing his hurt in his heart which is why he is overwhelmed with hatred and his need for revenge. Fortunato is dressed as a jester and ready to have a fun time. This happiness and carefree persona matched the derivative of what his name means. Poe uses these names as almost a foreshadowing to what is to come in the future. Montresor is storing away his anger and Fortunato has no anger in him, which adds fuel to Montresor’s need for revenge.
The type of wine that Poe uses in his story is also not by random. Amontillado sherry takes a lot of time to produce and it requires a very delicate and precise process to make. The reason Poe chose to use this wine is because just like the process of making Amontillado sherry, Montresor plan to punish Fortunato was very precise and long thought out down to the last detail. Michael Jay Lewis said in his own paper, “we can see several links between the process of creating amontillado and Montresor’s process of killing Fortunato…Montresor views his victim: as a piece of art, a product of his own creation.” (Lewis). Just like wine makers, Montresor has some much hatred towards Fortunato that his plan for revenge became a craft that needed to be executed perfectly. The amontillado also has a very ironic role is the story. Fortunato is passionate about deciphering whether the amontillado is authentic, “Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchresi, he cannot distinguish Sherry form Amontillado” (amontillado). Ironically Montresor is also passionate about getting revenge on Fortunato even though he seems to be very concerned about him, “’Come,’ I said, with decision, ‘we will go back; your health is precious…you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. ‘Enough,’ he said; ‘the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.’ ‘True—true.’”...

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