illustration of Fortunato standing in motley behind a mostly completed brick wall with a skull superimposed on the wall where his face should be

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe
Start Free Trial

What would have been clarified or different if Fortunato had told the story "The Cask of Amontillado"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Point of view is important to telling a story.  The point of view controls what information the reader gets, and frames it a certain way.  This story has what we call an unreliable narrator.  Montresor is crazy.  He does not really think rationally, so we have no idea whether or...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Point of view is important to telling a story.  The point of view controls what information the reader gets, and frames it a certain way.  This story has what we call an unreliable narrator.  Montresor is crazy.  He does not really think rationally, so we have no idea whether or not we can trust what he says.

The biggest question of the story is: What did Fortunato do?  We are told by Montresor that he was insulted by Fortunato.

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged …

If Fortunato was telling the story, we would not know that a murder was planned.  We might find out what Fortunato did to anger Montresor though, if he even feels like mentioning it.  The insult must have been something very slight for Fortunato to go into the catacombs.  You do not follow a man you have grievously injured underground.

The other information the reader would get from Fortunato would be whether or not, or when, he became suspicious.  Montresor seems to be doing a very good job of manipulating Fortunato. 

"Come," I said, with decision, "we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchresi --"

It would be interesting to see Fortunato’s mindset here.  Obviously he does not want Luchesi to look at that wine.  Why?  Is it just because he is conceited and wants to prevent anyone else from getting the glory?  There could be another reason.

Changing narrators would certainly be a twist on this story.  It would confirm that Montresor really is crazy.  Fortunato might confess to the injury.  What if he really did do something to Montresor?

 

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team