The Tell-Tale Heart vs. The Cask of Amontillado?I am writing a persuasive opposition essay (P.O.E.) on which story by Poe is the best. I think it is the Tell-Tale Heart. I also must include an...

The Tell-Tale Heart vs. The Cask of Amontillado?

I am writing a persuasive opposition essay (P.O.E.) on which story by Poe is the best. I think it is the Tell-Tale Heart. I also must include an arguement on why some people might think it is The Cask of Amontillado. So my question is, what are some reasons why the Tell-Tale Heart is BETTER than The Cask of Amontillado?

Asked on by lilyreads

1 Answer | Add Yours

billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I suspect that your question about "The Tell-Tale Heart" versus "The Cask of Amontillado" has gone unanswered because no one agreed with you that the former story is better than the latter. I don't agree with you myself, but I would like to offer some belated help. It seems to me that one way to kill two birds with one stone would be to point out the flaws in "The Cask of Amontillado" without paying a great deal of attention to the virtues of "The Tell-Tale Heart."

Many readers have said that they can't understand Montresor's motivation. He claims to have received "a thousand injuries" from Fortunato but doesn't give a single example. Therefore we can't tell whether he is sane or insane, as we can very easily with the narrator in "The Tell-Tale Heart."

Since we can't understand Montresor, we can't understand Fortunato either. He seems like an ordinary sort of man, except for the fact that he drinks too much.

We don't understand whom Montresor is addressing in his narrative. We don't understand why he has waited for fifty years to "confess" his crime--if that is what he is doing.

Montresor is obviously a Frenchman. If so, why is he living in Italy? And how could he have accumulated so many of his ancestors' bones in his catacombs?

Why has Montresor put up with Fortunato's real or imagined injuries long enough to have received a thousand of them? Why doesn't Montresor just stay away from the man? Is he deliberately suffering accumulated injuries in order to have an excuse for killing Fortunato in such a horrible fashion?

eNotes readers have asked many such questions about "The Cask of Amontillado." By referrring to them you could build an excellent case against that story, which should make it fairly easy for you to contend that "The Tell-Tale Heart" is the better of the two.

 

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,994 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question