I need help with a thematic analysis essay. Can you give me an outline for how revenge is the theme of "The Cask of Amontillado"?I have a lot of trouble with organizing analysis essays, and just...

I need help with a thematic analysis essay. Can you give me an outline for how revenge is the theme of "The Cask of Amontillado"?

I have a lot of trouble with organizing analysis essays, and just need a simple outline, and an example of how to support it. This is one of my favorite short stories, I just have trouble putting my thoughts on paper in an organized manner. Thanks in advance.

Asked on by dplank43

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I have published an analysis of "The Cask of Amontillado" via the eNotes Study Guide. It is about 8,000 words long and is broken up into small sections. You can access it by clicking on the link below. You will find it listed in the left-hand column under Study Guide: Criticism, The Single Effect. There are about 17 short sections under "The Single Effect." I have shown how all elements of the story are intended to produce the effect at the end, which is one of horror as you know.

If you want to emphasize the idea of revenge, then I think you should begin by quoting most of the first paragraph of the story, in which Montresor (and Poe) spell out the requirements for a perfect revenge. Then you might explain how Montresor met those requirements. For instance, he had to make sure he wouldn't get caught, or else the revenge wouldn't be perfect. One of the ways he avoided all suspicion was by treating Fortunato as his "good friend" even though he hated him. Throughout the story he refers to Fortunato as "my friend," "my poor friend," and "my good friend." He has gotten so used to doing this that he can't help continuing even while he is leading him to his death. And everyone who knows him will assume that he couldn't possibly be responsible for Fortunato's disappearance because he is such a good friend.

Montresor says in the first paragraph that "the avenger must make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong." Show how Fortunato is sober and calls Montresor by name at the end to demonstrate that he knows the avenger and isn't drunk.

I hope you will refer to my essay on the Single Effect because I have tried to cover everything there.

Sources:

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