The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

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How does the setting of "The Cask of Amontillado" affect the story?  

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The setting of the story is absolutely crucial to establishing the overall mood. The story takes place against the backdrop of a carnival when everyone's out and about enjoying themselves, getting blind drunk and wearing silly costumes. Yet the action itself takes place in the dark, dank catacombs, where the wicked Montresor will confine the hapless Fortunato to his final resting place.

The juxtaposition of two such radically different events—a joyous celebration and a cold-blooded murder—is entirely in keeping with Poe's black humor and makes the horror that finally unfolds all the more effective when it comes. Right up until the very end, we entertain the barest of hopes that this is all some gigantic prank by Montresor and that he won't really wall up poor old Fortunato alive inside a crypt. In fact, that's precisely what Fortunato himself believes, though it's probably just wishful thinking on his part.

Montresor actually confesses his crime right at the start of the story. But...

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