December 10, 2013
If there is one thing that has been prevalent since human interaction began, it is the concept of revenge. Everyone has a moment in their life where someone does them wrong, and they want nothing more than to get back at the person who is responsible. While this reaction is completely normal, the results of actually acting on these feelings usually end badly for everyone involved. One of the main reasons that revenge does not typically end well is because once all is said and done, the past can not be changed. “The Cask of Amontillado”, like many other stories, is focused on the theme of revenge, which is a feeling everyone is familiar with and is something that almost always ends badly. One of the more prominent stories about revenge comes from Edgar Allan Poe, a very well known author recognized mainly for his dark story writing. His story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, is an interesting tale about a man who feels insulted and seeks revenge. Essentially, the main character, Montressor, feels that he has been insulted by his apparent hated enemy, Fortunato, and as a result he leaves Fortunato tied up in the Montressor family’s catacombs to die. In this story, many things are left unclear. For one thing, it is never told what exactly Fortunato did to exact this revenge. This means that his “insult” could be anything, and the punishment for his ‘crime’ in this story goes to show the length that people are willing to go to get revenge on someone who has wronged them. One thing to note in this story is that the narrator is never caught for his crime. Although “The Cask of Amontillado” is a good story about revenge, it is not Edgar Allan Poe’s only story that relates to the subject. Another one of his stories that focuses on revenge is “Hop-Frog.” “Hop-Frog” tells the tale of a dwarf and his female companion, Trippetta, who are taken as prisoners from their homes and brought to be entertainment for a king that is very appreciative of humor. The story ends with Hop-Frog and his companion getting revenge upon the king for striking Trippetta and his mindless council by burning them alive in front of a crowd of people at a masquerade party. The main difference between this story and “The Cask of Amontillado” is that there is a lot more information to go off of. For one thing, it is made very clear why Hop-Frog wants to get revenge upon the king. One similarity between “Hop-Frog” and “The Cask of Amontillado” is that in neither story do the people achieving revenge have anything bad happen to them as a result. In both stories, it is apparent that the characters get away with their deeds. “Hop-Frog” brings a sense of joy in that Hop-Frog and Trippetta get away, but it leaves the viewer wondering if what they did was right. Even so, wanting revenge is a natural feeling after being wronged, and there are deeper, psychological effects revolving around these feelings as well. An article by Stillwell, Baumeister, and Del Priore says that, “The discrepancies between how different people see the same event may contribute to such seemingly inequitable outcomes.” (253). What this means is that many times, people see different things when looking at the same situation, and as a result, one person can be left less satisfied with the results than the other person. For example, one person may view a prank as a minor thing and laugh it off, while the person who was pranked may view it as something that really rubbed them the wrong way and is something that they want to get back at the other person for. “When people are hurt or angered by another person they may try to restore equity to the relationship.” (Stillwell, Baumeister, and Del Priore 253). This means that when someone feels wronged, they feel like they have to make the relationship even again. Needless to say, some people will act on their feelings, and naturally some cases of revenge can go wrong. There are a bunch of...
Cited: Poe, Edgar A. “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846) Web 03 Dec. 2013.
Hughes, Martin. “Analysis” Forgiveness. (1975) 113-117 Web 06 Dec. 2013. Academic Library- JSTOR.
Chavez, Adriana M. “Online Child Pornography Can Harm Victims for Life.” (2013) Web 06 Dec. 2013. Academic Library- Opposing Viewpoints.
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