Poe uses a first person narrator, Montresor, who is speaking to an unknown audience. Also, it is never revealed why Montresor seeks revenge, which builds suspense throughout the story. Montresor speaks in a calm, confident voice. He tells the story with no explanation and little emotion. He never suggests feeling guilty for his actions, and seems detached from all proceedings. He is clearly an unreliable narrator, but we are left with only his account of what happened. There is no outside interpretation or judgment.
‘‘The Cask of Amontillado’’ also contains many elements of Gothicism. Some examples are the archway that leads to the ‘‘long and winding staircase’’ down to the catacombs, the damp and dark passageway hanging with moss and dripping moisture, the piles of bones, the flaming torches that flicker and fade, and the clanking chains. The overall atmosphere of mystery and horror also reflect Gothic influences.
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Poe uses suspense as a style and approach to writing this story. The way the plot and sentence structure is designed pulls the reader onto a fast paced journey running madly with the mind of the narrator through a whirlwind of confusion, deceit, tragedy and evil.