How does Fortunato try to stop Montresor in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fortunato is too drunk to stop Montresor and doesn't realize he is about to be murdered.

Fortunato never really tries to stop Montesor, because he doesn’t realize what is happening.  This is because he is very drunk.  The murder happens during the Carnival holiday.  Fortunato is dressed up and drinking.  Montresor tells him he needs information about a rare wine. 

Fortunato falls for it, because he has a big ego.  When Montresor pretends that he is going to ask someone else about the wine, that gets Fotunato even more interested.  It never occurs to him that it is a trick.

"As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me --"

"Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry."

This little bit of reverse psychology continues when Montresor pretends to care about Fortunato’s health.  He says he is coughing and they should turn back.  Fortunato doesn’t want to.  He laughs at Montresor’s trowel, again not realizing anything is up.  Montresor makes a jokes about Masons.

Fortunato doesn’t realize what is happening until he is actually being bricked into the wall.  The drunkenness wears off and he starts to panic.  Montresor is aware of this.

A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated, I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. 

It is no use by this time.  Fortunato never has a chance to stop Montresor. Montresor makes sure that Fortunato suffocates to death.  He remains there and in fifty years no one finds him.   Montresor has gotten his revenge for whatever imagined injuries Fortunato did to him.

Read the study guide:
The Cask of Amontillado

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