1. if you were the author of this story, which part of the story would you change and why?
2. if you had the chance to rewrite the ending, how would you write it and why?
3. what suggestions can you give or tell the writer to improve his story?
3. In the falling action of Poe's gothic tale, Montresor moves from being duplicitous to becoming an admirer of Fortunato, calling him "noble" and desiring a response from Fortunato. What is the reason for this change? Has Montresor been merely jealous of Fortunato all along?
It would be difficult to improve on Poe's story, but it has occurred to me that Montresor might say a few words at the end about how he had to act mystified and concerned about the disappearance of his "good friend" Fortunato. He might also mention that he had the additional sadistic satisfaction of causing grief for Fortunato's wife, children and other relatives by killing the head ofthe family. It is not clear whether Fortunato died quickly of suffocation or had a long, lingering death of starvation. No doubt there was enough dripping water, but was there enough air for the victim to breathe after Montresor had completed the wall? I have assumed that all the references to nitre were partly intended to suggest that there was quite a lot of oxygen in the underground passages, although Montresor describes the air as foul.
The fact that there is no explanation for the murder, and no remorse half a century later contributes to the horror of the story. I'm not sure you could change any of that for the better...
Since this is one of the greatest short stories ever, it's hard to consider making changes to such a piece of art. I would also like to know what Fortunato did to Montresor to create such hatred, but its mystery is far better than actually being given the answer.
I think that this story is fabulous, especially because we do not know what the conflict between the two men is. I would add something near the end, to show how Montressor evaded capture for so long and how he reacted, kind of like the narrator of "A Tell-tale Heart" did.
I guess that I would say (this is #1 or #3, not sure which) that I would like the author to have given us some sort of idea as to why Montresor hates Fortunato so much. It would help us to have a better idea as to how we should feel towards him. As it is, it is very hard to know whether to feel that he's just evil for killing Fortunato or if Fortunato really had it coming.