Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is the story of a man who leads another man into the catacombs of Italy to commit murder upon him. There is also another sub plot that the man telling the story is giving a confession of this act, from around 50 years earlier, to a priest so that he may have his sins forgiven and be let into heaven. The plot is driven in a particular manner by the narration of the story. The narrator in this story has an ulterior motive that greatly changes the way the story is told. In this work, the person telling the story, a man named Montresor, is making a confession about committing the murder of a man named Fortunato. Because the narrator is making a confession of his sins in order to get him into heaven, he has a way of twisting details to make the person being confessed to, and even the reader, feel like he wasn't completely in the wrong for committing murder. The narrator uses these twisted details in order to change the story into one that he feels the priest would want to hear, as opposed to the events that actually could have taken place. It is impossible to know the events that did take place, but as the story progresses we see many cases where details of this murder are twisted in order to justify his acts and secure his place in heaven. .
The first case of Montresor's twist in confession comes very early in the story. We are never given a clear account of what Fortunato had previously done to warrant such a grizzly act upon himself. We know that Fortunato had "ventured upon insult" but what insult is justifiable for killing a man (165)? This lack of justification leads one to believe that Fortunato's actions could not have been entirely punishable by death, especially when the narrator notes "the thousand injuries of Fortunato" that he had previously "borne the best I could" (165). If the reason for Montresor's actions had been more clearly laid out, for instance to avenge a major crime committed on him by Fortunato, we may have been able to more concretely sympathize for him in his doing.