It’s the Little Things That Tell the Story
In “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe the author is able to capture the readers attention and bring to life a setting that is seething with death, darkness and anguish creating the perfect backdrop for tale of final retribution.Edgar Allan Poe would take pieces of history and fears that society had in his day and incorporate them into his stories so that the horror would be taken to a whole new level without even having to elaborate on some of the smallest details. Throughout the story there are several details the Poe included into his narrative that might have been normally dismissed. If the reader were to stop and take their time to analyze the details, do a little research and some reading the reader will find that each detail has a great historical significance to it and opens up to a whole new understanding of the story.
As Montressor is setting the last of the bricks he once more and calls out Fortunado’s name and the only thing that he hears in return is a jingling of bells and he then hurries to place the last of the stones in place and remarks the his “heart grew sick”(Poe, 365) and blames it on the dampness of the catacombs. Roger Platizky points out in his essay that the bells that are ringing are attached to the hat of Fortunado’s costume. Such a small detail can be over looked but the ringing bell signifies the act of being buried alive, which was the fear of the time. So in order to subdue peoples fear they started being buried with a sting tied around part of their body that led to a bell at the surface so it could be rung if ever someone was burred alive. The eeriness of the bell ringing while Montressor is walling in Fortunado speaks volumes when the reader considers the meaning behind it. Platizky also mention that the bell also may not symbolize the resurrection of Fortunado but the “the living memory of Montressor’s revenge.”