Read Edgar Allan Poe The Cask Of Amontillado – Book Report/Review Example

The critical essay, “The Motive for Murder in "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe” was written by E.V. Baraban of the of Vancouver. As the title indicates, the focus of analysis and criticism in this piece centers on trying to ascertain what the motive was for the murder of Fortunato. Baraban dismisses the claims by other critics that Montresor must have been insane. She points to an essay written by Poe at about the same time “The Cask of Amontillado” was published. In the essay, Poe claims that all of the details in his stories serve a purpose. This attention to form places Poe in league with the Russian Formallists, who felt the same way about their work. As a result, details revealed in “The Cask of Amontillado” would be irrelevant if Montresor were insane.
Through the course of the criticism, the author continues to lead the reader to think that something in the text, a subtle word or phrase, will reveal Montresor’s motivation. I was disappointed to find that by the end of the article, all the critic had done was belabor the point that it most definitely was not because the murderer was insane. Hints are made about the social standing of the two characters and the time of the murder, but these do not really offer much insight into what the ultimate motive was for revenge. It is, in the end, left to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. I feel as though this piece of criticism and analysis really drew me in at the beginning, but failed to make the salient points necessary to offer a satisfying conclusion. Perhaps too much was promised in the first few paragraphs of the criticism for a suitable conclusion to be possible.
Terms
protagonist (pro-TAG-eh-nist) A protagonist is considered to be the main character or lead figure in a novel, play, story, or poem.
flashback (flash-BAK): “an interruption of the chronological sequence (as of a film or literary work) of an event of earlier occurrence”
theme (theem): a common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work. A theme is a thought or idea the author presents to the reader that may be deep, difficult to understand, or even moralistic.
Citation
"Glossary of Literary Terms." The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Web. 15 Oct. 2010. .