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Death, Logic And Irony In Edgar Allan Poe´S "The Cask Of Amontillado" And "The Tell Tale Heart"

1152 words - 5 pages

In the Edgar Allan Poe stories "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" the most prominent and important themes that are used are death, logic, and irony. The characters of the narrator and Montresor in these stories are both coldblooded murders who kill for selfish and inane reasons who firmly believe that their actions are justified even though their justifications only make sense in their own minds. They both try to convince their audience that they are sane by explaining to them their reasons for killing their victims and admitting how they did it, which only helps to prove their insanity. The narrator and Montresor are similar in that they both have impaired senses of judgment encouraged by perverse morals and believe that the horrible things that they do are justifiable.
The narrator murders an old man who he is meant to be taking care of. He claims to have nothing against the man and says that he loves him. Regardless of this, he finds the mans filmy, vulture-like eye to be disturbing and thinks this is a valid enough reason to kill him. Montresor feels insulted by his colleague, Fortunado and believes that it is now his duty to end his life. Both claim to not have anything against his victim other than one small detail, being either and eye or an insult, and feel that they are justified in wanting them dead.They both meticulously plan out what they are going to do to their victim long before they carry out their actions. Neither the old man or Fortunado had any idea that their murderer had any reason to want them dead and had no way of anticipating what was doing to happen to them. The narrator smothers the old man with his mattress, chops up his body, and stuffs him in the floorboards. Montresor leads a very drunk Fortunado into the catacombs, seals him in a wall, and leaves him to die. At first neither feels any remorse and feel that they got away with murder. They both do for a while but do eventually being to feel guilt for what they have done although the narrator's is more obvious. He confesses immediately to the police officers when he hears what he thinks to be the old mans beating heart, although it is more likely that it was his own heart pounding because of his nerves. Montresor does not express much guilt for his crime until he confesses on his deathbed, possible to a priest, when he feels safe and does not think that he will not be able to be punished for it.
Neither the narrator or Montresor is very logical in their reasonings for what they did. Their excuses for killing do not make sense to anyone other than them. They find miniscule faults in their victims and are able to convince themselves that they justified in murdering them even though they are more or less completely innocent.The narrator murders someone he claims to care about solely because he does not like his filmy eye which he describes as, "vulture eye" (Poe) He meticulously plots the old mans murder and is very careful in his actions when...

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