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Ignorance And Greed Leads To A Quick Ending

1044 words - 5 pages

Edgars Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado portrays two great examples of how greed and ignorance combined can lead to a quick ending, both physically and mentally. The story possesses two different aspects of an ending through two similar but yet different characters. Both characters possess the trait of greed, which hinders their ability to think rationally. The most obvious aspect of greed is carried out by Montresor, because this is a “short story of revenge.” He seeks to make Fortunato, the other character possessing the ignorant and greed trait, feel the pain that he has supposedly dealt onto Montresor. Throughout the book, one can experience how these two awful traits overtake them ...view middle of the document...

Montresor states that “we will go back; your health is precious,” but he declines due to being so consumed with the greed of seeing the wine. Secondly, Montresor is bewildered when Fortunato gives the sign of the Masons. He notices the bewilderment and asks why “you [Montresor] do not comprehend?” Montresor starts to panic and pulls out his concealed trowel. However, Fortunato is so blinded by alcohol, and “Montresor [successfully] uses Fortunato’s pride in being a Mason and wine connoisseur” to keep him from noticing any wrongdoings. Fortunato has complete oblivion to his surroundings, and misses a vital foreshadow of what lies ahead. Third and lastly, Fortunato willingly steps into the darkened niche and ultimately to his death. He is so overtaken by the thought of such a valuable wine, that the greed overcomes his ability to be rational. Combine that hindering trait with his ignorance of being the best and death becomes his quick ending.
The other example in this short story is Montresor’s ignorance and greed leading to a mental death. He believes that Fortunato has caused him pain by the thousands and seeks revenge on him. His idea of revenge comes from his family symbol where “the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” with the motto of “Nemo me impune lacessit.” This basically means that anyone who does wrong to us will not get away with it without some form of rebuttal. However, Montresor takes his action a little too far. His greed for revenge becomes a passion. To a point where “Montresor’s obsess[es] with the revenge fifty years after the act” of killing Fortunato. Even before the act, he had to think of an elaborate plan to lure him to his death. Once he confronts him, leads him deep into the catacombs, and starts to build his life-ending brick wall, Montresor’s mentality changes even more drastically. He starts to thrive and feed off the fear and screaming of Fortunato. Whenever Fortunato would scream or beg for mercy, Montresor would laugh and yell with him as he...

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