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Mood In The Cask Of Amontillado English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 800 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Mood is a feeling that is conveyed to the reader in a literary work. It is also synonymous with the atmosphere created in the literary piece. The writer can develop mood through word choice, dialogue, sensory details, description, and plot complications. The mood conveyed in a literary piece can be a variety of feelings, for instance: mysterious, happy, calm, reckless, humorous and other. Reading “The Cask of Amontillado” I clapped my eyes on creating a strong mood in this story. The descriptive details create a special mood as the story goes on. To my mind, especially the mood changes, when the places changes as well in the story.

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“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” The opening line of the story presents irony of situation. Montresor, the narrator of the story, immediately tries to win the reader to his side by telling him that Fortunato has “ventured upon insult,” and apparently crossed over the line. This attempt is clever, but the reader never gets a sense of what Fortunato has actually done to the narrator. This fact alone raises the question in my mind as to whether Fortunato has really insulted Montresor, or whether Montresor is creating it in his own mind. By this way, in my opinion, author of this story tries to start this story in quiet, mysterious mood.

What is more, I pay my attention to the setting, where the story begins. “It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season that I encountered my friend” – this sentence contains two important details as to why the carnival is a perfect setting for Montresor’s undertakings. The first is that it is dusk, which makes it harder for people at the carnival to notice what is happening, and also adds some gloom to the story. The second and most important detail is that the carnival is a scene of “supreme madness.” To my mind, the setting plays a huge role in describing mood in the story, because only from the describing the environment we can feel the mood in the stories.

The mood changes in the story, as the setting changes too. So another important setting in the story is – catacombs. The descriptions of the catacombs – the darkness, the foul air, and the damp, nitrous walls – help produce the desired mood. “We came at length to the foot of the descent, and stood together on the damp ground of the catacombs of the Montresors”. These descriptions allow the reader to put themselves in the story and get the same feeling as the characters. In this example, the reader subconsciously puts himself in Fortunato’s position, walking along with a madman in the catacombs of Montresors, not knowing your fate. The only difference in this case is that the reader has a better sense of Fortunato’s fate than he does. Moreover, from these episodes it seems as if Montresor almost has a sense of humor in his madness to punish Fortunato for his so-called wrongdoings. His constant insistence that Fortunato leave the catacomb with him provides even further ‘insult to injury’ for Fortunato. “Come, we will go back here it is too late. Your cough…” From these examples, I saw that from the mysterious, scary and a little bit strange mood the mood turned to a chill and humorous one.

The scene where Montresor walls-up Fortunato , in my opinion, is by far the most perverse scene in the story. The scene is particularly effective in my opinion because of the cordial manner maintained by the narrator up to the point where he is nearly finished. There is no struggle or resistance put up by Fortunato: “He was much too astonished to resist”. If an author had Fortunato put up a struggle or had the narrator shown any anger, it would have destroyed the consistent mood of the story up to that point. Instead, Poe has Fortunato remain intoxicated right up until the point where it is too late for him to struggle. The immediate sobering-up of Fortunato when he is near death also adds to the effect of the scene. “It was not the cry of a drunken man” tells the reader that Fortunato now knows full well what is happening to him. It is followed by a yelling match and then silence, which creates such a sinister atmosphere that even Montresor is trembling and hastening to finish.

To sum this up, I would like to add that in the story everything has a connection. To my mind, the places, the mood, the characters, almost everything has a specific connection and from this story I learned that the strongest connection with the mood and the atmosphere have the settings and characters of this story.


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