Edgar Alan Poe

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Patrick Tremper
Mrs. Batson
English 102-710
13 June 2011

Edgar Allan Poe’s narratives reveal horrors that typically would be ignored by most people. Horrors such as how far a human being will go to get revenge on another. The setting of “The Cask of Amontillado” demonstrates the contrast between freedom and confinement. Through the setting the reader can switch between feeling free or trapped, this make the reader more aware of the setting. Poe’s setting including the carnival, the catacombs, and Fortunato’s tomb reflect the main character’s attitude, decisions and behavior. These settings contribute to the story’s overall impact, and succeed in communicating Montresor’s mindset and the accomplishment of his revenge.

The carnival impacts the setting and ultimately, the actions of the main character, Montresor. The carnival is a celebration, the day before lent, in which people partake of those items they will be fasting during lent. This carnival represents a time of freedom and celebration soon to be lost forever to Fortunato. For Montresor it also represents a time of freedom before he is confined by his own actions and murderous decision. However Montresor’s description of the carnival is vague and rushed. He doesn’t describe much of what is going on, only enough to prove how foolish looking Fortunato is. Even Montresor’s greeting to Fortunato is planned as he says "My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met” (Poe 108) The carnival allows Montresor to talk to Fortunato, and use his love for fine wine to lure him into the catacombs. Even during the carnival Montresor keeps thinking of the vaults. At one point during Fortunato and Montresor’s walk toward the catacombs he says, “The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre” (Poe 109). Montresor is so focused on killing Fortunato that he is constantly thinking of where he will do it, and how dark and mischievous his plan is.

As Montresor and Fortunato enter the catacombs they give...
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