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Lecture

Mar 4.odt


Department
English
Course Code
ENGLISH 1A03
Professor
Jeffery Donaldson

Page:
of 2
March 4, 2013
Cask of Amontillado: Edgar Allan Poe
with the vague nature of the opening line, we question whether Fortunato actually deserves to
die, as the narrator has deemed yes
asked assume he is an evil character, without much specificity, only that he has done wrong
to the narrator
Fortunato is dressed like a jester, making him look like a fool
something incommensurate between what happens to the victim and what he is wearing
shows exaggeration Poe has created, of the conditions of the situation
excess and injustice
we're meant to recognize that something doesn't fit, that something scary, unreal is
happening in the story
not to justify something, just to show the reader something
when we hear the Cask of Amontillado, we think of the event of the murder
to being bricked into a tiny space and buried alive
the story opens with the narrators decision to do so
the entire story revolves around, and moves inexorably toward, the impression and single
unthinkable fact of this crime
the architecture of the story- heading towards a space
piles of bones everywhere, as if they are descending into an actual grave, an underworld
metaphorically: motif of someone descending into lower worlds
the story takes on meaning in how we are moved towards this ghastly revelation
it lies ahead for the reader like a tiny space that we cannot yet see into
we don't yet see what lies ahead
use of dark and lightness
Fortunato holds his torch into the space in which he will be trapped, to see what is there,
however, he cannot quite see
he is someone whose situation is “dimly lit”
narrator delays what we will be shown
we are curious to see where we are going, when we finally see where we are headed, we are
struck by horror
modes of narrative fiction: a temporal configuration with a destination or end
“at length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled”
he can't simply achieve this end; it will be a meaningful experience by how he proceeds to
the end
how he moves towards this end makes the story interesting
Montresor keeps him hooked in the journey, egging him on
insists that he is not well, giving excuses for the two of them to go back
narrator keeps making the journey unnecessary; the victim keeps insisting on pushing the
journey forward
the “true” destination is a function of the means by which one arrives at it
the narrator has it so that the victim is taking him to the destination
descent metaphor is emphasized by Poe throughout the story
the gesture that the narrator not wanting to move forward is actually what drives the story
forward