“The Cask of Amontillado” Imagery Analysis
In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Edgar Allen Poe uses many examples of imagery, such as the descriptions of the carnival, characters, the walk through the catacombs, and much more throughout the story to build suspense and intrigue for the readers and add to the mystery of Montresor’s underlining actions of the revenge and deception of the foolish Fortunado. By using descriptive words and phrases to help us imagine the characters and setting the readers are drawn further into the suspense. Beginning with the descriptions of the carnival, usually a joyous time, it is not so joyous but mostly dark with the vision of “[dusk] one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season.” (Poe page 2) By using words like “dusk” and “madness” Poe takes away from the light atmosphere of the carnival season, and gives it a dark twist. Even the narrator, Montresor, is given an air of madness when described as “putting on a mask of black silk and drawing a roquelaire closely.” (Poe page 2) This gives us the sense of how mysterious he is, and takes the story even further into the suspense. We also begin to see that Fortunado is an extremely foolish character. Fortunado is said to be an expert on wines and is shown taking full advantage of this during the carnival by being completely drunk. He is dressed in motley, a suit a clown would wear, which puts him in an unsuspecting, innocent light. When Montresor invites him to go along with him to see the amontillado wine in the catacombs, Fortunado jumps at the chance to see it, which also builds appeal for the reader to read on. As we travel deeper into the catacombs, we continue to see how it increasingly gets more and more intriguing for the reader, and makes them want to know what comes next. “Damp ground of the catacombs,” (Poe page 3) and “the drops of moisture trickle among the bones,” (Poe page 4) are both wonderful examples of how creepy the catacombs were....
1. Poe, Edgar A. "The Cask of Amontillado." 2005. Literature and the Writing Process. Ninth
ed. Pearson Education, 2011. 236-41. Print.
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