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How's the phrase “You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose,...

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annmarie8810 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 28, 2012 at 12:48 AM via web

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How's the phrase “You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat.” make Montresor an unreliable narrator?

This is for an essay, so if you can help please do, but don't just give me the answer. Help me figure it out. Maybe offer hints or examples that could help me.

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 28, 2012 at 3:01 AM (Answer #1)

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Why do you consider Montresor an unreliable narrator? The phrase you quote in your question suggests that the story is presented as a letter written by Montresor to some unknown friend. Presumably, Poe has gotten possession of it and translated it into English. It is similar in this respect to Poe's "A Manuscript Found in a Bottle." By establishing that "The Cask of Amontillado" is addressed to someone who knows him well, Poe can skip a lot of detailed explanations, including the nature of the "thousand injuries of Fortunato." Montresor may not be unreliable but just able to leave out a lot of expository detail because he is addressing an intimate acquaintance. This letter was written fifty years after the murder it describes. What does Montresor write that is not reliable?


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