Edgar Allen Poe's ' the Cask of Amontillado '

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arAlexander Song Ungaro Song 1 Professor Robert Stambaugh
ENC 1011

The Single effect
In the story of "The cask of Amontillado" Poe does a wonderful and exceptionally good job of putting into effect his theory of "the single effect". Though the methods used in acquiring this effect be lost on most of the audience due to its subliminal and non-invasive nature, the signs are all there and you just need look for them and they may be found. From the very first line written in the "Cask Of Amontillado"; "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge." We are thrust into a ride, much like one you might find at the amusement park or the carnival, with the distinct difference that although this ride is in fact on rails, how it will affect us and how we will interpret the events during is completely up to us. Edgar Allan Poe does a remarkable job of employing several psychological techniques in his short story " The cask of Amontillado " , but I will only focus on one, which even by today's standards is flawless. The technique is the mystery. Who is Fortunato? What has he done to Montresor that has caused so much emotional and psychological damage? Obviously the answers to these questions will elude and intrigue the audience. So we are instantly on the hook. To find the answers to these questions we must avert more of our attention and interest to the piece at hand. Poe, now with our utmost and full attention, begins to plunge us into the mind of his protagonist. Not so by simply introducing us to Montresor but instead by showing us his actions, his thoughts, his mannerisms. He accomplishes this by exposing us to Fortunato and the conversations between them that will ensue. On the surface Montresor seems like a normal man with no ill will. Although quickly we begin to learn otherwise. " My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How...
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