Do you recommend reading "The Cask of Amontillado"?
This is the short story I usually start with in my literature class introduction to Poe. It is relatively short and the story line is simple. There are only two characters and they are antithetical by nature. Symbolism is very prevalent and easy to decipher. It is also a good example of the first person narrative form often adopted by Poe.
The setting of this short story is during the Carnival festivities in Italy. I introduce it at this time or around Halloween when studying works based on the subject of appearance vs reality. This story can be introduced at the intermediate or eventually the lower intermediate level.
The Cask of Amontillado is one of Edgar Allan's Poe's best short stories. Poe commented that a good horror story should build one single effect at the end. This story, about the relationship between two men, Montresor and Fortunato, continuously builds to a single frightening effect. In addition, the story can be read and enjoyed many times because Poe has incorporated many clues and allusions to the ending that most readers miss during the first reading. So, putting together the pieces of the story is a both a challenge and a treat for the reader.