What literary elements are in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado"?
In his essay, "The Philosophy of Composition," Poe states that he starts not with a plot but with a mood or "an effect" he wants to impress on the reader. Poe wishes to convey a mood of growing foreboding and horror in this story of a man walled up to die in a catacomb as revenge for undefined insults.
One way Poe creates this mood is through the use of the literary device of imagery, which is description using the fives senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.The visual description of the catacombs is one of increasing claustrophobia and dark horror that contrasts with sepulchral whiteness. Corridors are lit by a flaming torch Montresor carries that shows
the white webwork which gleams from these cavern walls
The two men pass piles of human bones and pass under a "low arch" into a "deep crypt." Montresor wears a black mask that hides his face.
But Poe does not only use visual effects. Sound was important to him, and he adds to the growing sense of terror through the use of screams...
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