The Cask of Amontillado Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

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Discuss why the author did not explain the "injuries and insult" in the story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe.

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Poe opens his story with the following two sentences:

THE THOUSAND INJURIES of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat.

Poe is using the fiction that his protagonist Montresor is addressing someone who knows him intimately. It seems likely that this narrative was supposedly contained in a hand-written manuscript which somehow came into the hands of an American writer/editor who translated it from Italian (or possibly French) and published it in a ladies' magazine. By creating this fiction and this fictitious confidante, Poe relieves himself of the need to explain many things and focus on what is dramatic. Montresor should not have to give examples of the "thousand injuries" because he must have told his correspondent about a lot of them already. The single insult Montresor refers to is not sufficiently important to describe. It...

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