The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell Tale Heart are stories written by Edgar Alan Poe. In those stories we have evidence of two different ways to be killed, one of them with irony to consciously accept to go down your final destiny and the other one with surprise at night while sleeping in your bed. Both murderers killed their victims, and told us in a first person narrative how and why they committed the murders. However, should we believe everything they said about what happened in the stories? In order to have a better picture we need to break down the facts of the murderers (Montresour and The Narrator).Montresour studied his victim before the act, while the Narrator waited for the easy chance to kill. Montresour planned a trick to hide his emotions until the end while the Narrator was a slave of what he was feeling. In both crimes there was a point when everything tended to change; Montresour could take care of that unexpected event while the Narrator lost control of his mind and jumped to kill his victim. In essence, there are two murderers who planned their crimes in a very different way and their emotions played the crucial position, showing what really happened.
First of all, Montresour had a deep hate for his victim (he with stood thousands of injuries without any complaint) while the Narrator loved his victim yet hated his evil and pale eye. As you can see in The Cask of Amontillado, “He had a weak point this Fortunato-although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. ” Through this quote we can see that Montresour already had studied his victim. He knew that he had to be careful with Fortunato’s power, and he had to take advantage of his sky high vanity of knowing a lot of wines.
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On the other hand, in the Tell Tale Heart the Narrator had trouble defining why exactly he wanted to kill the old man. When he did it, he realized it was only for his eye and once he knew it he couldn’t stop desiring it. As a result, I think Montresour took the time to control his emotions, so when the time of the crime came, he could trick his victim. While the Narrator let his emotions run, which blinded his actions and left loose ends. Montresour felt the hate, and then he planned his revenge.
While he was executing his plan he contained his excitement until the end. The Narrator was a slave to his emotions, and he went on doing what he was feeling. Montresour could trick Fortunato, because he never showed his feelings, he allowed Fortunato to come back all the time, making believe they were “friends”. He hooked Fortunato due to his vanity, “I am on my way to Luchesi”, that stubborn feeling of supremacy of knowing a lot about wines made Fortunato felt to the trap, he needed to taste that cask of amontillado no matter what.
On the other hand, the Narrator thought his feelings can give him the strength to do things right. The easily position of his victim made him forget to use his head. At this point, we have two murderers with their victims at their scope, waiting for the dead. The resignation and denial that the victims felt, plus that grief and panic of knowing the end was near make the victims react, and that made the murderers act in different ways. When Fortunato was already trapped in the tomb fooled and realizing he was going to die, he made his last joke showing that he wasn’t affected at all.
“But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head”, Montresour said. That was something he didn’t expected, for one moment in all the crime he felt fear. He hurriedly kept going and closed the tomb. On the other hand, the old man heard a noise; he knew somebody was looking at him that night, bur he stayed petrified in his bed. That was the trigger for the Narrator. It was an uncontrollable excitement, feeling his victim in waiting and helpless. There wasn’t a way back.
The Narrator’s heart was going to burst and he thought some neighbors could hear the noise and call the police. He didn’t want to be caught so he finally jumped and killed the old man. Therefore, as you can see in both stories, emotions played the most important role in their crimes. What the killers felt helps to clarify and understand what really was happening. Montresour knew his victim and took the time to control his feelings against Fortunato. Then he planned and found the way to trick him.
Even with the unexpected reaction at the end he kept going accordingly what he planned and closed the tomb with hurry. The Narrator was tempted by a deep hate that the old man’s eye produced for him. He took advantage of the closeness and helplessness of his victim and decided to let his angry run exposing himself to that excitement until death, and in the end his uncontrollable emotions made him confess the crime. In conclusion, you will never hide completely your feelings, it doesn’t matter how clever or dumb you are, emotions always are going to find a way out.
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