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Topic: Poe Discussion 4, October 31- The Cask of Amontillado

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Subject: Poe Discussion 4, October 31- The Cask of Amontillado
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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Happy Halloween everyone!

Date Posted: 10/31/2009 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I loved this story, hands down my favorite of the Poe stories we've read this month.  "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge."  Best opening line.  The writing in this story was outstanding, eerily descriptive & vivid but never bogged down with visualization over plot.  And Amontillado combined, IMO, all of Poe's best paranoias & plot devices; crazy narrators, being buried alive, the general sense of impending doom. 

But the best part for me is the narrator, Montresor.  He's crazy & homicidal, like the narrator The Black Cat, but there's something more darkly funny about his attitude.  I think that comes through because Amontillado is a revenge story, not just a murderer being sadistic because he's insane, and revenge stories are almost always emotionally satisfying, letting the reader enjoy imagining what it would be like to act out those impulses in our own lives.  I found Amontillado a great read as a revenge story, and as a horror story because at the end, whatever justification there might have been for burying his enemy alive (if there even was any justification) Montresor still comes across as a really scary, devious person.  I wonder how many other people who "insulted" him there were.

So that's our October discussion folks.  I hope you all enjoyed it, I had a great time!

Date Posted: 10/31/2009 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Entombed alive! Brrr.

I liked the imagery - Montresor wearing the black mask of revenge, Fortunato the costume of a fool.

Did anyone else smile knowlingly when Fortunato say he won't die of a cough and Montresor agrees (because he has already planned Fortunato's death!).

I would have liked to know what offense (real or imagined) that Fortunato committed to deserve the punishment inflicted by Montresor.

Does anyone know why MILLIONAIRES was in all caps in the story?

Thanks for leading this month Vanessa!



Last Edited on: 10/31/09 11:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2009 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I think that this may always have been my favorite Poe story ever since I read it in high school.  Poe is at his best, I think, with the shorter stories (like "The Tell-Tale Heart." 

Yes, Shelia, I loved how Montresor agrees that Fortunato will not die of a cough.  I also like how many times he gives Fortunato a chance to back out.  With my luck, if I ever plotted such a revenge, my victim would agree that perhaps he shouldn't go on into the catacombs since he had such a bad cough!  But, oh, aren't we all egotistical when someone considers us an expert!

Yes, thanks, Vanessa, for leading us this month.  Wonder where the others are.