What is the connotative plot of the story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A connotative plot is an implied or secondary plot.  In "The Cask of Amontillado," Montesor claims that he has borne "the thousand injuries of Fortunato, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge."  However, never does the reader learn upon what the revenge is predicated.  That is, how has Fortunato insulted Montesor?  Has it been by actions or by words?  Perhaps Fortunato has shown himself to be a better judge of wine than has Montesor. Or, perhaps Fortunato has verbally or by actions insulted Montesor. 

While the reader tends to believe that Fortunato, who is portrayed as rather crass, has probably done something to bring about Montesor's act of revenge, the connotative plot may reside solely within the motives of Montesor. This plot may connect the action to professional jealousy on the part of Montesor who wishes to simply eliminate his competitor, Fortunato, rather than to seek revenge upon any real acts or words against himself.

A suggestion of Montesor's jealousy of Fortunato occurs when Montesor pretends to urge Fortunato to leave the catacombs:

'Come,' I said with decision, 'we will go back; your health is precious.  You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was.  You are a man to be missed.  For me it is no matter....'

This is the most definitive statement in Poe's story of Montesor's which may indicate that he bears some indication of professional jealousy.