30 September 2014
How Pride Develops Theme in The Cask of Amontillado
Anne Rice once said, "Pride is the parent of destruction; Pride eats the mind and the heart and soul alive." Pride is called the cardinal sin because it is the character flaw that births all others. The conflict in the Cask of Amontillado develops the theme that, pride can make a person do crazy things. Montressor's pride helps build the conflict because his motive for motor revolves around it. Montressor states, "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge" (Poe 1082). From this the reader can tell Montressor feels he has been insulted. Fortunato insulted Montressor's pride and that is unacceptable in Montressor's eyes; furthermore he feels that Fortunato must be severely punished. Later Montressor says that in the matter of old wines he "did not differ from him materially" (Poe 1083) and that he was "skillful in the Italian vintages" (Poe 1083) himself. Both Montressor and Fortunato consider themselves wine experts. This shared pride provides Montressor with an excuse to get Fortunato into his cellar with him. While Montressor's pride is the reason he attempts to murder Fortunato , it is not the only reason his plan was successful. Montressor may have killed Fortunato, but Fortunato's allows him to succeed, while simultaneously developing the theme that pride can make a person do crazy things. Montressor meets Fortunato at the carnival and to butter him up, he claims that he has "received a pipe of what passes for amontillado" (Poe 1083). He also appeals to Fortunato's pride and vanity by telling him that he was "silly enough to pay the full price" (Poe 1083) without consulting him. He tells Fortunato these things to puff him up and play on his pride. By doing this this he is able to not only convince Fortunato, but to get him to insist they go down to his vaults. We see another...
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