The Black Cat And The Cask Of Amontillado Analysis

1949 Words 8 Pages
“In his best fiction Poe achieves acute insights into the mysteries, processes, and terrors of the human personality without draining our shared inner life of its basic mystery” (Shulman 1). Many works of Edgar Allan Poe explore the phenomena of the human mind. Despite the study psychology having not been introduced yet, Poe’s stories “The Black Cat”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, and “Berenice” examine various happenings of the human mind.
In “The Black Cat”, Poe explores very distinctive features of the human mind: irrationality, guilt, and perverseness. Early in the story, the unnamed narrator accuses his wife of being superstitions, stating that she “made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches
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Montresor, the story’s protagonist, is imprisoned by his desire to take revenge from Fortunato. In her article, Renee explains that when revengeful thoughts develop in the brain, it causes insanity and prevents the mind from questioning the act of revenge (1). As “The Cask of Amontillado” opens, the evident theme of revenge is introduced: “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge” (Poe743). Montresor proves the driving forces of revenge to be pride and jealousy. He is jealous of Fortunato and constantly aims to prove him foolish. He ridicules his appearance, stating that “The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells” (744). His constant attempt in proving superiority is also shown when he shows Fortunato the picture of the snake being smashed by a human foot with his motto: “No one attacks me with impunity” (Poe 746). Montresor categorizes Fortunato as the snake in the picture because Fortunato insults him, and himself as the foot that is annihilating the snake. Montresor’s jealousy of Fortunato, as well as his pride, further instigate his desire to revenge …show more content…
Throughout the story, Poe illustrates how one goes about using reverse psychology. When Montresor asks Fortunado to taste Amontillado he says “I will not impose upon you good nature. I perceive you have an engagement..” (Poe 744). Here, Montresor is convincing Fortunato to taste the Amontillado while telling him not to. Similarly, when Fortunato coughs because of the nitre walls, Montresor once again uses reverse psychology when he says “ Come,.. we will go back; your health is precious... We will go back; you will be ill and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchresi-” (Poe 745). Montresor is fully aware that Fortunato is anxious to taste the wine, considering that “ He prided himself upon his connoisseurship in wine” (Poe 745). By trying to deter Fortunato from participating in this event, and by declaring Luchresi as his replacement, Montresor is using reverse psychology to convince Fortunato to

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