Maria Ferzoco
Intro to Literature
Professor Moffett
17 March 2017
Character Thematic Connection
Authors set forth their stories using characters. A character is a person, or personified thing, that is represented in a fictional text. They may be round, flat, static or dynamic. Major characters are more likely to be round while minor characters are, for the most part, flat. In addition, characters may act as foils. Foils illuminate the more important characters in the piece. Character's actions, tones, and words convey to the reader their values and attitudes and they greatly affect the story's themes, plot and messages that are being expressed. Sometimes, authors present certain backgrounds in order for their audience to understand specific actions of their characters. Other times, however, the reader learns about different characters through their own actions. Edgar Allan Poe's, "The Cask of Amontillado" is a renowned story that exemplifies the contributions that characters have with the development of themes in a piece of literature. The entire short story is based on revenge and through the characteristics and actions that Montresor, the immoral narrator, encompasses, the reader better understands the ideas that the author is conveying. Montresor's style and his clever, manipulative and unapologetic personality, are a few of his many character traits that contribute to the overall theme of revenge in "The Cask of Amontillado".
In the catacombs of Montresor's home, he is described as wearing a "mask of black silk" and a roquelaire", which are identity factors of him seeking revenge (219). His victim, Fortunato, dresses in a "motley with a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head is surmounted by a conical cap and bells" (219). A motely is multi-colored, with patches, and this simply represents his multi-sided personality. His tight dress symbolizes his inability to be set free from his powerful enemy, Montresor. The reader is forced to look beyond Montresor's meek appearance, and deep into his soul where he gives "utterance to a threat" (218). There is a great contrast between what the protagonist and antagonist wears. Although Montresor is not described with as much detail as Fortunato, he is illustrated as a menacing figure. His black mask and thick cloak show that he is covered up and disguised with the intent of carrying out a malicious plan. The dark colors of his outfit clearly hints that he possesses an evil side. Montresor's full identity is not exposed because it leaves the reader suspicious and fearful about his character. Both Montresor and Fortunato's style contributes to the overall mood of the short story and sets the scene of revenge that is taking place. While clothing plays an important role in the story's overarching theme, his clever personality does as well.
The story is written fifty years after Montresor's severe act of vengeance against Fortunato and he has never been caught due to his exceedingly clever traits that he exhibits. Early on he says, "There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned." (219). Montresor makes it a point that no one is there to witness or hear what is taking place. He knows how to get around being caught, which makes him appear innocent and a very clever man. In addition, prior to performing his plan, he makes sure that Fortunato drinks an excess of alcohol. He presents him with wine, telling him to "drink" (220). He says, "my own fancy grew warm with the Medoc" after describing the wine as sparkling in Fortunato's eyes (221). Montresor is able to deceive Fortunato when he gets him drunk and lures him into his underground vault to undergo his plan. Montresor proves to be very clever, as well as manipulative through his actions.
It is implied early on that Montresor has been hurt multiple times from Fortunato which leads to his desire of seeking revenge. He claims, "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon