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The decent into the cellar or the catacombs beneath Montresor's estate symbolically imply the decent into death for Fortunato. Dying is the winding down of life and the two wind down the halls of the catacombs to Fortunato's final resting place. Even more symbolic is that it is not a wine cellar he leads him into, but the catacombs beneath his estate. Centuries ago Christians buried their dead in catacombs or long winding underground tunnels. Later on wealthy families constructed catacombs beneath the grounds of their own estates. It was also customary and an ideal place to store fine wines like amontillado. It is actually fitting to bury Fortunato alive in the catacombs because anyone who might uncover the body would think nothing of it because it is essentially a tomb itself where people also store wine. This was good planning on Montresor's part.
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