Foolish Fortunato Essay

868 words - 4 pages

Have you ever foolishly led yourself into a dangerous situation that could have easily been avoided? This is exactly what happens to Fortunato in Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Cask of Amontillado." The story begins with a narrator named Montresor explaining to the reader that he feels insulted by a man named Fortunato, and that he vows his revenge. Montresor lures Fortunato in by challenging his pride in his connoisseurship in fine wine. He tells Fortunato that he bought a cask of Amontillado and that he needs Fortunato's help to determine if the wine is indeed real. When the duo reach the bottom of the vaults, Montresor describes a niche indented into the wall just large enough for a person to fit. Montresor then chains Fortunato inside the niche then begins to build a wall to enclose him in. After Montresor completes the wall the story flashes forward 50 years to Montresor telling the reader that no one has disturbed Fortunato for half a century. Fortunato allows himself to die a horrific death because of his pride, his inability to withhold his tongue, and his foolishness.
Fortunato allows himself to be killed because of his pride. When Montresor is trying to lure in Fortunato he says, "I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts...and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter...As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi." Then Fortunato says, "Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry." Fortunato could have saved himself here had he not let his pride influence him. If he would have declined to go help Montresor, then he would not have been killed that night. He could not allow Montresor to believe that Luchesi was better than he was. Another time the reader observes Fortunato's pride is when he is in the catacombs and he would not turn back. "Come," I said, with decision, we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchesi" -- "Enough," he said; "the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough." If Fortunato would worry about his health more so than his pride, he might have met his fate that night. His body is telling him here not to go further into the vaults but his pride tells him that...

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