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Are Montresor's two conditions for successful revenge mentioned at the end of the first...

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white11 | Student | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted January 29, 2012 at 2:52 AM via web

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Are Montresor's two conditions for successful revenge mentioned at the end of the first paragraph fulfilled?

(The victim has to know he is the target of revenge, and the one seeking revenge has to get away with it)?

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 29, 2012 at 4:36 AM (Answer #1)

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Yes, both of these conditions for successful revenge are fulfilled. Poe takes pains to show that Fortunato, though intoxicated, knows what is happening and who is responsible. From the time the two men meet on the street until Fortunto is enchained and Montresor is constructing the wall, Fortunato never calls Montresor by name. Then at last he cries out, "For the love of God, Montresor!" This is intended to show that he is sober enough to understand what is happening and who is going to leave him to a horrible, lingering death.

As far as getting away with the crime, Montresor states at the end of his manuscript that the body has not been "disturbed" in fifty years. He uses the word "disturbed," but the meaning is clear that the body has not been discovered in that time. He refers to Fortunato as "my friend" and "my good friend" throughout the tale. No doubt he has made a point of referring to Fortunato as his friend consistently in conversations with everyone who knows them. He has always smiled at Fortunato and behaved in a most friendly manner, as he says at the beginning of the story. Thus, when Fortunato turns up missing and a big search and investigation take place, no one would think of questioning Montresor or searching his premises because he is such a "good friend" of the missing man.

 

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