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How does survival of the fittest relate to the story "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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onlywg | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 6, 2009 at 1:49 PM via web

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How does survival of the fittest relate to the story "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 6, 2009 at 10:22 PM (Answer #1)

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Montresor proves to be the stronger of the two men in this story of well-planned revenge and murder. Though Fortunato comes from a wealthy family and is the more powerful of the two men, Montresor has chosen a time and location that will give him a decided advantage when he begins the chain of events that will spell doom for his enemy. It is the height of the carnival season, and Montresor finds Fortunato drunk and suffering from a cold. He then tricks Fortunato into believing that he has a rare bottle of amontillado, knowing fully of his counterpart's love of the vintage, and leads him into his wine cellars, which doubles as the family burial ground. Montresor knows that the cold dampness of the cellars as well as the encrusted nitre on the walls will further aggrevate Fortunato's cold--leaving him in an even weaker state. They descend deeper and deeper, and Montresor offers Fortunato more wine, which he knows will be accepted. When Fortunato is at his weakest, drunk and winded, Montresor strikes. Like a cunning animal who has carefully stalked his weaker prey, Montresor leaves Fortunato to die a horrible and lonely death.

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