Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Cask of Amontillado: Short but Sweet

The Cask of Amontillado being only a couple pages one could assume that the story could lack in a brilliant plot, but The Cask of Amontillado proves that story length does not impede on quality. Books and stories come in all lengths, depending on the base of the plot and how the story is set up the story can be long or short. The Cask of Amontillado starts off after an event has occurred which could have been explained but would very likely stray from the short fiction it is, and as some say the "perfect" short story. The characters could have a background and a life before the story but Poe does not think that is necessary to get across the point. Some stories do need to be long to get across their point, and backgrounds are necessary but not for The Cask or even a story like Bartleby. Even in Bartleby the main character has only one piece of history about his past but this does not hinder the story, but in fact makes it better The irony in the Cask is vast and almost every other line. Everything from the Coat of arms which is a foot crushing a snake biting its heel to the contrast of the joyous carnival to the gruesome death of Amontillado. The irony is blatantly obvious for anyone reading the story, and is fairly obvious for Amontillado too but he does not see it because he does not see the anger Montresor has bottled up inside. If the Cask of Amontillado had been a novel or a longer book, the point and plot Poe tried to get across would have been skewed. The only real question that goes unanswered is what did Amontiallado do to Montresor, but once the story is done it does not really matter anymore because the story leaves you with an ample amount to think about.

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