The Mortal Sin of Pride
In “The Cask of the Amontillado” Edgar Allan Poe uses symbolism, imagery, and the atmosphere to help fully explore the sinful nature of pride and its serious consequences within the short story. The character of Fortunato is the main capsule for the explanation of the dangers of being prideful of ones self. By examining Poe’s use of symbolism, images, and effective backdrops around Fortunato the reader may begin to understand the importance of the deadly sin of pride.
Poe deliberately explains to the reader early on within the short story, “The Cask of the Amontillado”, that Fortunato takes extreme pride in “himself on his connoisseurship in wine” (153). The theme of having an overwhelming amount of self-pride, one of the seven deadly sins, is projected as a weakness of Fortunato and foreshadows the ideal that this deadly sin of pride may very well lead to the means of Forturnato’s own destruction. Fortunato Believes that his “connoisseurship in wine” (153) is far more developed and advance than anyone else in the area, especially Luchesi and Montresor. For example when Montresor offered to take his business to Luchesi because he, Fortunato, appeared to be pre-engaged in the enjoying himself within “the supreme madness of the carnival” (153); however, Fortunato replied with “ ‘Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry’ ” (154). The reader may argue that Luchesi might have truly been just an amateur in the area of winery, but with the next line Poe wrote, Montresor replied “ ‘That his taste is a match for your own’ ” (154) it is less of an issue. Furthermore the reader can clearly see that Fortunato must have said what he did out of pride in his wonderful abilities.
Given the knowledge that the reader understands Fortunato and the simple fact that he is driven by opportunities to boost his egotistical...
Cited: Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of the Amontillado.” Literature for Composition,
4th ed. Eds. Sylvan Barnet et al. New Your: HarperCollins, 1995.
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