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Analyzing the Plot of "the Cask of Amontillado"

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Analyzing the Plot of "The Cask of Amontillado"

The conflict in Edgar Allen Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," stems from "The thousand injuries of Fortunato." This means that over an extended period of time Fortunato has insulted Montresor, but Montresor has let his anger build up and has kept track of how many "injuries" he has been dealt by Fortunato. This conflict is internal, which is understood when Montresor says, "it must be understood that neither by word or deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will."

The plot's chief episodes can be summed up using the five distinct stages of exposition, complication, climax, falling action, and resolution. The exposition introduces the audience to both Montresor, the protagonist, and Fortunato, Montresor's unsuspecting enemy. The setting is introduced as occurring "at dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season." Also the aforementioned conflict is introduced in this section. The story quickly transitions into the complication, or rising action, which occurs when Montresor plays on Fortunato's pride and love for Spanish wines to get him to descend into the catacombs with him. Montresor does this deed by claiming that he will ask another person about the authenticity of the Amontillado because Fortunato appears to be busy. Fortunato says that the other man "cannot tell Amontillado from sherry" and then says he should be the one to test the Amontillado. Next the climax occurs when Montresor chains Fortunato up and begins to construct a wall to entomb him in. At this point Fortunato is sobering up and realizes the predicament that he is in, "For the love of God, Montresor!" he pleads. The story then turns into the falling action. Now there is no more noise from Fortunato, Montresor throws a torch into the room he has built, and puts the last stone in place. The resolution to the story can best be explained with these last words from Montresor, "For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them," he is speaking of his dead ancestors and the body of Fortunato. He finishes up by saying, in Latin, "may he rest in peace."

POV

"The Cask of Amontillado" is told from an auditor's point of view. Montresor is addressing a second individual who obviously knows him well, which is explained when he says "You, who so well know the nature of my soul." The narrator's tone is dark and ominous. The narrator is unreliable because he is a madman. Montresor has kept track of each time he was wronged by Fortunato, that alone is enough to doubt Montresor's credibility.

In "Hills Like White Elephants" the point of view is objective. The story is allowed to unfold mainly through dialogue and minimal actions. The tone of

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