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The Setting of The Cask of Amontillado by Edger Allen Poe - Essay Example

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Summary
Sir Edger Allen Poe is most known for his profound impact in the gothic writing realms. His narratives typically stretch the reader’s level of comfort to reveal real injustice and horrors that plague society, which most would rather ignore…
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The Setting of The Cask of Amontillado by Edger Allen Poe

Download file to see previous pages... The distinction shown both literally and figuratively between these two aspects is typically called the gothic interior. The gothic interior, through careful attention to the setting, forces the reader to toggle between the feelings of being free and trapped, which in turn makes the reader more aware of these emotions. By taking an in-depth look at how the setting in, The Cask of Amontillado, including: the country, the carnival, the vaults, darkness, and the tomb: influence the main character’s attitude, decisions and behavior, and how it contributes to the story’s overall impact, the importance of the setting in gothic narratives becomes clear. The country in which The Cask of Amontillado takes place is Italy. This fact would typically not have a profound impact on the reader, unless they had some knowledge of the history of gothic narratives. Upon studying into the history of gothic narratives one would find that the first person to publish an explicitly gothic story, Horace Walpole did so in Otranto, Italy. The story he published, The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story, portrays confinement in that one of the main characters is ultimately pinned beneath a giant gold helmet that falls from the sky. So the fact that Poe chose to also set his short story, The Cask of Amontillado, in Italy could be a nod to the accomplishments of Walpole, and perhaps impact that Walpole’s writings had on his own. The fact that the main character of the story is ultimately trapped, along with the fact that one of the main characters in, The Cask of Amontillado, is trapped also leads many experts to feel this location comparison of Italy was intentional. The event that is occurring during the time this story takes place, the carnival, also has a profound impact on the gothic interior, or setting, and ultimately the actions of the main character, Montresor. The carnival is a celebration, the day before lent, in which people partake of those things they will be fasting during lent. This is a representation of a time of freedom and celebration before a time of confinement. For Montresor it also represents a time of freedom before he is ultimately confined by his own actions and murderous decision. However the description, given by Montresor, of the carnival is very vague and rushed. He does not take time to describe much of what is going on, only enough to prove how foolish and indulgent his protagonist, Fortunado, is. Even during the carnival Montresor keeps thinking of the vaults, or impending confinement. At one point during their walk toward the catacombs he says, “The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with niter” (Poe).This shows how consumed he is with his hate of Fortunado and his plan to kill. He consumed to the point that he is unable to see the life, party, or wealth he has around him his sole focus was the damp, darkness that lay ahead. As with most hate filled, vengeful plans the depths of emotion and mental turmoil lay within the dark inner chambers of ones heart and soul. This is physically manifested in The Cask of Amontillado as the dark, damp, vaults Montresor and Fortunado descend into. As they enter the vaults the narrator, Montresor, gives detailed descriptions of the death and darkness that surrounded them. He does this both verbally and with his narrative. At one point he says, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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