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Horrifying Elements In “The Cask Of Amontillado”

3 Pages 684 Words

Edgar Allen Poe’s writings were influenced strongly by his life. His parents died when he was young, and he lived with his godfather John Allen. Around 1815 he was sent to begin his education. While at university he had a gambling problem running up an excessive debt. Mr. Allen pulled him out and wouldn’t let him continue. His life was constantly changing, full of inconsistency. His love life seemed to be the same, having many relationships never being faithful. His life seemed to be full of horror, which he expressed in many of his writings. In his short story “The Cask of Amontillado” a sense of horror was achieved by: sight, environment, and sound.
Many elements of horror were expressed in a visual form. In the story the mood was set by the fact that it was nearly night. It was dusk as Montresor approached Fortunato. Montresor enticed Fortunato by telling him he had a cask of amontillado. Being the wine guru that he was, Fortunato had to taste it. They went to Montresor’s house and proceeded into the wine cellar. It was very dark, so they lit a couple of torches. As they went deeper into the catacombs it grew continually darker. Their flambeaux were the only thing lighting their way. The darkness of the crypt was intense and horrifying. The torches lit only their immediate surroundings as midnight drew near.
The environment sets a horrifying backdrop for the story. The wine cellar where the amontillado was to be found was an old family crypt. They began their journey into the
Josh Austin
seemingly endless vaults through an old archway. The spider webs gleamed on the walls. Human bones and remains littered the cavern. “The drops of moisture trickle among the bones.” The bones and walls were covered in nitre. They proceeded deeper into the catacombs, passing through some low arches and descending again even deeper. As they entered the deep crypt the men saw that bones covered three walls. O...

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