What is a good quote from "The Cask of Amontillado" to hook the reader's attention?  

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I should think the following quote from "The Cask of Amontillado" would hook the reader's attention.

A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated, I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed, I aided, I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamourer grew still.

If you wanted a shorter quote you could use only the first sentence. Then if you are writing an essay about the story you would probably explain briefly who was screaming and why. If you use the entire quote you would be able to get the effect of two men screaming like maniacs in the dark catacomb. One of them is screaming in terror and desperation, while the other man is screaming to show his victim that his screaming is useless because there is no way anyone could hear them no matter how loud they screamed. 

The author, Edgar Allan Poe, wants to demonstrate that Montresor's trap works perfectly. It would naturally occur to some readers that Fortunato would scream for help. So Poe deals with this problem by showing that no one could even hear two men screaming, much less one.

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The Cask of Amontillado

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