The Importance of a Setting
The Cask of Amontillado
In the story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allen Poe I feel that the setting was everything. Without the setting of the Vault being in the Catacombs and it being Carnival time in this story the Montresor would not have been able to pull off his elaborate plan. The setting also added a great value of horror and eeriness to the story. The more I read into it the more creepy it got. The setting in this story is what really makes it great.
The story is about the Montresor who is looking to seek revenge on the Fortunato for his insults. The story takes place in Italy where it is Carnival time and this really lends itself to the Montresor being able to pull off his plan. He ensures no one will be in his house for their to be any witnesses or interruptions. Then he uses the Vaults where his wine is stored as a way to lure the fortunate to his death. The setting is such a huge factor here they are making the long journey down winding staircases and having to be cautious of their step just to taste some wine. The whole time the Fortunato is too focused on the Amontillado and not his surroundings. The Montresor at one point lifts "a trowel" (194) which he had hidden under his clothing but the Fortunato thinks nothing of it. He uses the Fortuanto's arrogance about what a magnificent wine taster he is to lure him in to taste some Amontillado for him. The setting in this story is important also because a man is buried alive in the catacombs. The irony of Entombed in the tombs. Poe really brings the setting to life with his descriptions. His description of the crypt was erie "Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size" (194). The more I read the story and it eerie setting the more I could not figure out why the Fortunato continued to go along I sure would not. The setting was so much more than just a backdrop to this story it really was an intricate part of the plot and story line.
In the end the Montresor used the Fortunato's own arrogance to lure him into his deadly trap. His plans worked out so well due to it being Carnival time and everyone being distracted by the festivities. The Catacombs were the perfect place to carry out his plan to exact revenge on the Fortunato. The setting really made the story and it was a huge part of it almost like a character itself. Poe did an amazing job with this story and all of its many intriguing ideas and details.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Cask of Amontillado. 191-196.