Theme Of Humanity In The Cask Of Amontillado

1351 Words 6 Pages
Humanity is driven by instinctual urges, held back by moral and ethical ideologies. We have evolved as a species and have implored reasoning to escape our beastly nature. With our distance from these attributes with civilizations, art, and advanced forms of arithmetic and philosophy. These advances only mask these attributes found within us, and Edgar Allen Poe is able to express our true humanity through his literary works. The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allen Poe, emphasizes how human attributes found in everyone can lead to inhumane actions. When analyzing the work through New Criticism, we see the authors success in conveying his meaning through his usage of literary tools, such as: perspective, tone, symbolism, and implied text, which …show more content…
Montresor is committing the atrocious act murder, and this alone differentiates him from any other protagonist, while, at the same time, giving a deeper insight on Montresor’s purpose. This is seen when Patrick White writes, “Montresor's act as something other than a demented or Satanic pursuit of revenge…I do not think so. He is neither demented nor Satanic. He has his reasons for what he does…Therein lies a deeper horror in the story.” (551). In this quote we are told that Montresor is not depicted as a satanic being from the perspective of the short story, but a man seeking justice. When he say’s this we are shown the true intentions of Edgar Allen Poe; he intends to fool us into considering the twisted reasonings of a murderer to be. It invokes a sense of sympathy when thinking that Montresor is only a man trying to avenge his family name, but in reality, he’s a man who takes an insult to the extreme. This is supported when he states, “Montresor's attitude toward his rights and responsibilities as a member of a noble family. From his point of view, he is acting patriotically, as it were, in seeking vengeance on his family's enemy.” (White 551). In this quote we see that Montresor is in fact a noble man trying to settle a debt with an enemy of his nobility. Prior to this excerpt we are notified that the family that Montresor intends to avenge is …show more content…
This is can be seen when Steff says, “readers have noticed the rather perfect symmetry of opposition between Montresor and Fortunato...for that is the chief burden of Montresor's systematic demonstration.” (449). The quote describes the characteristics of both character’s as opposites, and declares it as being one of the driving factors of Montresor’s choice. The short story is told through the perspective of Montresor, and this creates a conflict for the reader because Montresor is attempting murder. We are given a negative sight of Fortunato, and the tone set up around him attempts to vilify him. Poe uses the tone in this way to support the dark emotions of Montresor. This can also be seen when Whatley says, “Montresor’s deviousness and exultation during the process of Fortunato’s annihilation bespeaks of a Frankenstein who thinks he is his own god and can do anything. Under the cover of carnival season, Montresor turns Fortunato’s crypt into a crematorium.” (58). Montresor depicted as an ordinary man even when attempting murder plays a major role in the tone of the short story. We are shown a gruesome scene, and where most protagonist would be ashamed by their actions, Montresor carries on. He shows no hesitance, but instead build up a tension and animosity in a way that almost makes the reader accept his gruesome reasoning and angst. Incorporating tone to justify and build upon Montresor’s action is a step Poe

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