What is the importance or significance of telling the story from Montresor's point of view?Is Montresor trying to fool the reader in some way so that they may see things in his light and have less...

What is the importance or significance of telling the story from Montresor's point of view?

Is Montresor trying to fool the reader in some way so that they may see things in his light and have less pity, if any, for Fortunato?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are only two characters in the story, and one of them is dead by the time the story is being told. The only alternative to using Montresor as the first-person narrator would therefore be to use a third-person omniscient narrator. But the story reads like a confession, and only Montresor knows what he was thinking and planning and what he actually did. Using Montresor as the first-person narrator telling everything from his point of view does have the effect of makinig the reader identify with him and to feel gratified along with him when he succeeds in accomplishing his revenge. But this may be only a collateral gain. Poe's main purpose seems to have been to take the reader iinto the consciousness of a fiendish, vindictive, and extremely clever man who commits a perfect crime and is perfectly pleased and satisfied with the outcome. The final effect achieved combines a little pity for Fortunato with a great deal of satisfaction in the closure Montresor obtains from disposing of his hated enemy. The story has to be of an extremely confidential nature. It is ostensibly addressed to only one person and not to a general readership, which would reveal Montresor's guilt to the world and could lead, even after fifty years, to the authorities finding the body and charging Montresor with murder. This seems an additional reason for confining the narration to the point of view of the perpetrator.

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