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The story is about a love – hate relationship. In the story, the narrator is trying to portray the psychological complexities of these opposite emotion, emphasizing the way they enigmatically blend into each other. The story is about revenge, insult and death. Montresor loves himself and he cannot stand the insult by Fortunado; the self-love led Montresor to attempt murder. The death is ironic in the story as it is brought about by much desirable wine “Amontillado”. The wine enabled Montreso to entice Fortunado into death. Montreso persuades Fortunado into the dark recesses of the family catacombs and promises to offer a delicate wine. Here, the desire of wine led to the death of Fortunado.The title “The Cask of the Amontillado” of the story by Edgar Allan Poe has foreshadowing metaphor. The title of this grim story has an unusual ring to it. This is a strange title which we have not heard before. What does “Amontillado” literally mean? Actually, Amantillado is an alcoholic beverage something similar to Sherry. Only when people read the story they realize that it is a Spanish wine. Cask, by the way, is barrels in which wines are stored traditionally. Cask comes in many sizes. In the story, Montreso tells Fortunato, he has a “pipe of what passes for Amontillado”. In this context, “cask” also means “casket”. In the story, the Fortunado seeking a “cask of Amontillado” finds a “casket of death”.
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In fact an in-depth analysis of Poe’s works along with his life reveals that the personality disorder, “wounded ego” and “ruptured psyche” of Poe’s protagonists shares his personal as well as real life experiences. Poe’s protagonists are endowed with psychological defects that are supposed to result from a mind which is fraught with fright, haunted with the trepidation of losing the most loved ones and the anger of being abused.
In a letter to Mr. Allan (April, 1833) Poe writes about loveless bleak world where he was suffering from isolation and destitution: “Without friends, without any means, consequently, of obtaining employment, I am perishing — absolutely perishing for want of aid… For God’s sake, pity me and save me from destruction (O’Neill 7).
The short story, Hands, written by Sherwood Anderson explores the theme of the grotesque which means distortions or incongruities in appearance, shape and manner. The story has been told by the voice of a third person and symbolisms have been used to define the grotesque nature of the society.
Montresor and Fortunato are the two most important characters of the story and Montresor seeks revenge on Fortunato for an insult. The character of Fortunato displays pride in the story and ultimately as seen in innumerable stories proves fatal for him and leads to his downfall.
Although this collection did not receive an instant success, Poe’s career in literature progressively improved and he produced other poems and books that were greatly successful. A close analysis of his literary works, especially his poems reveal an emphasis on tales of mystery and macabre, and moments of sadness.
These short stories have contributed greatly to the development of this genre and have invested it with seriousness that it is often considered to be lacking in. What makes an analysis of both these stories interesting is the fact that they are very similar in certain respects despite the fact that they are separated by time from each other.
In fact, he is recognized as a major progenitor of the many modern literary art works having inimitable, complex, self conscious forms that dominantly influenced the twentieth century manner of writing. To consider Poe as a writer and have his works analyzed is like discovering indubitable treasures that in all aspects deserves merit.
The narrator thinks that he has been wronged by Fortunato and vows to take revenge to settle his score with Fortunato. Though the injuries are innumerable, yet the narrator is motivated to retaliate due to the insult hurled upon him by Fortunato. The narrator, Montresor devises a wicked plan to satisfy his vindictive passion.
However, these writers also witnessed several downfalls during the course of their lives because of the obstacles that they had to undergo in order to sustain themselves as well as their families and loved ones because they were not able to gain fame and fortune