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In "The Cask of Amontillado", to whom could Montresor be talking to 50 years...

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sushi96 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:39 AM via web

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In "The Cask of Amontillado", to whom could Montresor be talking to 50 years later and for what reason?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted October 20, 2008 at 9:43 AM (Answer #1)

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This is a good question for the discussion board.

I certainly do not believe Montresor is sharing his story because he feels guilt and/or remorse.  I personally could picture Montresor relaxing with some friends in a smoking room LOL with a cigar lit and he suddenly decides to tell this story...not sure for what reason, however.  He is smug enough that he could be telling it because he is quite proud of his plan that worked so well!

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:35 AM (Answer #2)

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A fine question.

 

Three possibilities come to mind.

First, no one, or rather, himself. I see him running over and over the story in his mind like a favorite vintage.

Second, God. I see him as so proud that he'd brag of his sins even to God at death.

Third, a new victim that he wants to scare in his old age.

 

Good question!

Sources:

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yellowstang50 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2008 at 10:48 AM (Answer #3)

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I believe the two previous answers are too limited in scope.  First, Poe built a work that holds up when on every level that language operates.  Second, since Montressor is unreliable, he may have felt guilt for his crime, but attempts to cover it: "My heart grew sick -- from the dampness . . . " comes to mind.  Poe leaves the question of guilt open to us.  If Montresor fails to possess humanity, he is simply a monster; I do not believe Poe wrote such tales.  His characters feel the guilt of their crimes. Montresor,too, feels guilt, but tries to cover it with his bricks, literally and figuratively.  Of course, he fails to keep it concealed, because he is now revealing it! 

He may be talking to God, or the reader, or to himself.  Perhaps it is addressed to his contemporaries, many of whom failed to recognize or believe Poe's ability to purposefully compose a story with such mathematical-artistic precision that it holds up on every level possible -- like Shakespeare's work.  Poe was a genius.  The perfection of this story cannot be ignored. It contains perfect solutions in every dimension language operates, which, no offense, the previous two posts failed to even allude to.

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