The Cask of Amontillado

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Chapter 2, Narration and Point of View

“Cask of Amontillado”

1) What can the reader infer about Montresor’s social position and character from hints in the text? What evidence does the text provide that Montresor is an unreliable narrator? Montresor indulges in large quantities of Italian Vintages, resides with attendants in large suites with archways which lead into vaults which are extensive. The Montresor’s have their own family arms and motto. These are all indications that Montresor is wealthy and of an upper social class. From the very first paragraph, where Montresor vowed revenge, it is apparent that his character would not be made a fool of nor be taken advantage of. As the story is told you see just how calculated and planned out Montresor’s actions are. Evidence of the unreliability of Montresor as a narrator is revealed when Fortunato acknowledges he is of the Mason’s and asks Montesor if he too is a Mason. Montresor tries to convince Fortunato that he is a Mason however it is apparent that he is lying; this may give way to doubting what other memories and tales Montresor has held with expectations of revenge. As Montresor was about to complete the wall he was erecting, sealing Fortunato into a recess of the catacombs, he makes reference that it was the dampness of the catacombs making his heart grow sick. This implies that Montresor may be out of his mind or crazy, where he actually is a cold blooded murderer. He has taken the family motto “Nemo me impune lacessit,” Latin for “No one provokes me without punishment,” literally with the actions he bored.