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Amontillado: Wine or Destruction

             Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" tells the tale of one man's quest for revenge. The story is told through the eyes of Montresor, a seemingly psychotic person. He believes that Fortunato, his victim, has given him a "thousand injuries", and he must right this injustice. Montresor leads Fortunato down into a cellar and through a tunnel so that Fortunato might be able to tell him if the wine he just bought truly is Amontillado. They seem to act friendly towards eachother as they make their way through the underground tunnel. Fortunato eventually reaches a dark room, and Montresor immediately chains him up so he cannot leave the room. Montresor then proceeds to start building a brick wall to seal Fortunato in that dark room. Montresor finishes and it is believed that Fortunato dies in that room.
             The most noticeable literary element that creates this story is the character Montresor and his point of view. Montresor is plagued by the insults he has received from Fortunato, and he intends to set things right. Throughout the story Montresor evolves from a man with a simple plan of retribution to a man with definite psychotic behaviors.
             The narrator of this story is Montresor, and we, as readers, are not supposed to sympathize with Montresor's plight, but rather judge him for his actions. Poe's choice to pick Montresor as the narrator strengthens the horror and shock that is felt by the inhumane steps Montresor takes against his assailant, Fortunato.
             During this story, Poe inserts many ironic situations. One of these situations is when Fortunato inquires if Montresor is a part of the guild of stonemasons. Montresor says that he is a mason, and Fortunato finds it hard to believe, and even thinks that Montresor is lying. The joke is ultimately upon Fortunato, for this is how he encloses Fortunato in the smaller room - by building a new, brick wall.
             Another instance of irony is found during their trip through the tunnel.

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