Every once in a while, people feel the need to have some excitement or thrill in their lives. It seems that some people enjoy being scared. The easiest way to satisfy this need is through entertainment; one could easily go to a movie theater, rent a video or download a movie to instantly get a dose of horror. In fact, movies about ghosts, monsters, aliens, and other scary entities often prove successful in the box office. However, if one feels the need to experience horror and fear, one need not look farther than man himself. The evil tendencies of man are much more fearful than any creature formed by the imagination.
The Cask of Amontillado is one of the finest gems in world literature. Written by Edgar Allan Poe, this story shows the strength of human emotion, and the actions that result from it. It reveals the extent of human anger, and how such emotion could move someone to cause harm to another. This story reminded me of the evil that resides in every man. This reminder proved more fearful than all the horror movies ever created; this is because each and every person could experience this emotion, and if left uncontrolled, could unleash one’s evil side.
Anger can be an overpowering emotion. When someone has done something inappropriate towards us, we are overcome with anger. At times, we forgive that person and forget the said incident. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said to every person. There are those who hold grudges, and the anger eventually takes over their lives and results in fatal consequences. In the story, Montresor speaks of the wrong doings of Fortunato towards him. This made Montresor hold a grudge, and plan for his revenge.
The “injuries” and most specially the “insult” that prompted Montresor to punish Fortunato are not identified, but the readers could at least determine how grave those were as it drove Montresor to such a drastic measure. A man who commits pre-meditated murder for revenge must really be affected by the other’s actions. The story changed me in the sense that I have assumed a more cautious stance toward life. I have been reminded that my actions could offend others, whether it was intentional or not. There could be people who are angry with me, and I am unaware of the extent of their anger. I could already be in danger without even knowing it.
Therefore, I will try to be mindful of my actions at all times. I cannot please each and everybody, but that does not mean I should not be careful of my actions. The story also gave me a different perspective with regards to how the human mind thinks. Humans are the most intelligent beings in the animal kingdom. The operations of the mind are indeed complex, and evoke a great sense of wonder as to how it actually works. However, the intelligence can also be used for evil. In the story, Montresor was smart, and he had a well-planned strategy for Fortunato. Montresor took advantage of the man’s love for wines and used the beverage as bait.
Even the attendants at his home were instructed as to allow him to carry out his plan. Montresor feigned concern about Fortunato’s health, and even worked on his pride by mentioning Luchesi and asking for his help instead. In the end, Montresor successfully entombed Fortunato. Human realities are much frightening than any of the monsters and demons created by the imagination. Man has a capacity for evil, and emotions such as anger can bring it to the fore. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe offers horror of a different kind, much more frightful than those portrayed on television and movie screens.
Courtney from Study Moose
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