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
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Do you think Fortunato insulted Montresor on purpose? Why or why not?

Fortunato insults Montresor, who is extremely sensitive about this. Fortunato is also a member of the brotherhood of Freemasons and enjoys being able to lord it over Montresor.

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I do believe Fortunato insulted Montresor on purpose. Although Montresor does seem very sensitive and defensive, especially in the first line of the story -- a line that describes "The thousand injuries" Fortunato had inflicted on Montresor -- readers get to see Fortunato insult him, and others, in the context...

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I do believe Fortunato insulted Montresor on purpose. Although Montresor does seem very sensitive and defensive, especially in the first line of the story -- a line that describes "The thousand injuries" Fortunato had inflicted on Montresor -- readers get to see Fortunato insult him, and others, in the context of the story itself.

First, Fortunato is quite willing to insult Luchesi, another local wine connoisseur who some say possesses a "taste [that] is a match for [Fortunato's]." He says, scoffing, that "Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry." Fortunato even repeats this insult a few lines later, saying, "Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado." Without hesitation, Fortunato is willing to insult both Montresor's taste as well as Luchesi's. His pride is clearly immense, and he is rather arrogant as well -- both possible motivators for insulting anyone he feels is beneath him.

Further, Fortunato seems to enjoy the idea that Montresor is not a member of the brotherhood of Freemasons. He tests Montresor by performing some kind of secret gesture, some "grotesque" movement in which he casts a bottle upwards. When Montresor claims that he is a Freemason, Fortunato replies, "'You? Impossible! A mason?'" He asks for a sign in order to verify Montresor's claim. Clearly Fortunato is a member of this brotherhood and tries to lord it over Montresor for no reason other than to claim his own superiority. In fact, Montresor is being particularly solicitous about Fortunato's health and offering him copious amounts of wine: both (seemingly) friendly gestures. However, Fortunato clearly enjoys his feeling of superiority, and this makes me quite sure that he has, indeed, purposely wounded Montresor in the past.

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