Edgar Allan Poe – the Cask of Amontillado
Have you ever wondered why Edgar Allan Poe is considered to be the master of horror/ creator of detective fiction or even why his short stories became some of the most iconic literature of the entire 18th century that changed the literary landscape forever? If so then you might realize that many of his suspenseful works are actually linked upon his tragic life as a writer. In the article “The Color of Amontillado,” Charlene Walters states “ This conflict was raging while Poe was writing “The Cask of Amontillado,” and scholars have theorized that Fortunato was a surrogate for Fuller or English, with Montresor representing Poe vanquishing his enemies”(Walters 39). In poe’s message, one could easily declare that damaging aspects from a mental standpoint may be tremendously vital to not only the victim but as well as the victimizer, enforced by the connection to revenge in the eyes to those who want justice, Edgar Allan Poe’s the cask of Amontillado, published in the 19th century paints a very clear understanding of the effects of psychotic distress which will overcome a person.
To begin, by a statement held by Ethan Trex in 5 Facts About Edgar Allan Poe “Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19th 1809 in Boston Massachusetts to Elizabeth and David Poe”(Poe 1 ). As a baby, Poe’s father had abandoned the family and only a year later, his mother had unfortunately died of tuberculosis. In addition, Poe was taken in by a new family, this being the Allan family which completed the first step of his legacy, his name. At the age of 18, Poe had joined the U.S army corps under a false name and age. ” Under a new name, Edgar A. Perry, on 26 May 1827, giving his age as 22 (he was actually 18), and his occupation as “”clerk”” he signed his enlistment papers for the U.S” (Beidler 332). In the military, Poe at setted with qualifying and went on to obtaining the highest rank that could be achieved his position in the artillery squadron. At this point his love of language was revealing itself and Poe ended up publishing “Tamerlane”, his first work. Later he was accepted into a prestigious Military Academy named West Point, but would soon later drop out which led him to be disowned by the Allan family. Poe then moved to Baltimore, the place where he had met his one true love, his cousin by the name of Virginia Clemm. “The couple married in 1836 when she was only 13 years old”(para 11) Unfortunately, Poe suffered even more lost when Virginia had also died of tuberculosis and his gambling debts and depression rose. Scoring many prolific short story reads such as “The Cask of Amontillado” or “The Raven”, Poe then got a job as a critic and ended up roasting all works illustrated by other writers/poets. For his vigorous critics, he was even nicknamed the tomahawk man. Unfortunately, “In 1849 Poe left New York for a visit to Richmond, but he never made it that far south”(para 17). He was found alive but soon died of mysterious causes.
How it works
The thought of Poe’s death was very intriguing, but even more was the feud between popular rivals that he had gained on his way to fame. It was said that in his active years as a writer, poe had a very dramatic feud with two men by the name of Hiram Fuller and Thomas English. In the public eyes, they had a series of arguments and insults on each other in the exact years that poe was writing “The Cask of Amontillado”. Through extended research, scholars believes that Poe had represented Montresor and while Fortunato would represent either Fuller or English for reasons such as them being more wealthy and popular than poe at the time especially since poe had raised up many of his debts in gambling at the time. It is also considered that the account of alcohol was very important factor in both Poe’s and Montresor’s life. Poe’s addiction to alcohol in real life gave satisfactory to him as when writing about “Amontillado”. A spectacular wine that had probable troubled him in real life as well. The theme of temperance litterature (such as horrific tales with the use of alcohol in order to terrify the audience) was said to also be a popular theme in Poe’s time as a writer so that could also be the result for his thinking of the story.
Due to Poe having such a realistic approach to “The cask of amontillado”,for my research paper I have chosen to write about Edgar Allan Poe. I also chose this legendary and iconic writer because of his jaw-dropping horrific aspect on everyday life which in turn left a timeless mark on litterature. From the tragedy of prisoner strapped under a rocking blade to the decree of burying a man alive, Poes indifference toward literature is what made him such a glorious writer. What also made Poe very compelling to me was the fact that tragedy inflated throughout his actual life as well. His parents had died when he was a child and then his wife as well from tuberculosis, who he had married at only 13 (who was also his cousin). As a result, one could easily see the astonishing different lifestyles that were endured at this time. A time when the average life of a person was around 50 years old. Many believe that the reason for such horrific stories were because of these tragic events that had unfolded among his own life which was his ironically his own horrific story. Poe’s active years as a writer were during the 19th century. A time when the U.S was stirred up by the horrific natures of tragedy without many helpful resources. Tragedies such as the war of 1812 and even the civil war were occuring.
In “The Cask of Amontillado” Poe also delivers the message that those who are dealing the emotional pain may also be even more in harm from the fascination of revenge. We see this being clarified when Poe states “I must not only punish but punish with impunity In proving this argument” (Poe 1343). We also see it when Poe states “A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser”(Poe 1343). Finally we see it again when Poe states “It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong”” (Poe 1343). This explains that Montresor is being overcome by insanity. He reveals that the only way to get even with Fortunato is to kill him. As a result, Montresor’s act of insanity and in thirst for revenge on Fortunato is contradictory to Poe’s message that the prey can easily become the predator or vise versa.
In “The Cask of amontillado”, Poe sheds light on his interpretation that the accounts of emotional harm the connection to the brink of breaking one’s mind. You see this become true when poe states “THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge”.(Poe 1) We see it again when Poe said “I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed, I aided, I surpassed them in volume and in strengths, butut now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs on my head. One could easily tell by these ambitious remarks that Montresor was becoming more and more insane throughout the entire night. In mania for the pain that Fortunato had caused him before. Seeing fortunato buried alive had given him such a thrill and by the end we see that there was no regret. As a result, We see that Poe intentions of writing on montresor mainai were to present an understanding to his readers that enough critic and pain among a person can break his mind.
After the publication of “The Cask of Amontillado one could only imagine the fascination of the audience since they would again see the iconic signature move of the one and only Edgar Allan Poe. In the 19th century, poe’s works were considered as like a new product being sold in a store, at first it was unheard but would soon become a trending phenomenon. Many debated that edgar allan short stories were characterized as a disfigured person writing psycho maniac thoughts but many in retrospect were delighted to read is works. As for today’s society, when scholars and other writers look upon his text, they see a masterpiece that was brought to life 200 years ago. Poe’s works of gruesome death and tragedy are known to unlock a gateway in modern literature.
This then leads us to the probability that the reason for writing “The cask of Amontillado” was to provide a distorting of events that played a role in Poe’s actual life which led to the connection that the thirst for revenge may overcome the victim which leads to the endangerment of both the victim and the victimizer. Knowing about the dramatic deaths in Poe’s life ar what made him the odd yet unique person that everyone visualizes him as. With the series of arguments coming from Fuller and English, one could easily imagine that “The Cask Of Amontillado was a way to get back at one of the two rivals. In response Poe is able to convey the message on how much a person can change when carrying out the act of revenge which in turn ironically changes the victimizer to the victim. Although a very harsh theme to write about, Poe’s fans were astounded to read the treacherous Cask of amont and even more are the people today in even after two centuries of being a literary sensation.”