2/3 Language Arts
29 September 2014
Extended Response - Point of view
Question 2: How can we tell Montresor is unreliable? What is the purpose of using this type of narrator?
In Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe uses an unreliable narrator in the form of Montresor. We can tell Montresor is unreliable by this sentence on page 174, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” Montresor seems to exaggerate his injuries and makes Fortunato out to be the villain in the story. A bias had been created against Fortunato is the first sentence of the story. The reason for Montresor seeking vengeance is truly unknown except that Fortunato insulted him. An insult is not anything for murder, but Montresor supposedly had taken a thousand injuries from Fortunato.
An unreliable narrator can change the mood the reader gets from a story by the way he relays facts or the facts he chooses to leave out of the story. An unreliable narrator can also change the characterization by the way the narrator describes them and the way the narrator interacts with a certain character. Edgar Allan Poe chose to make Montresor an unreliable narrator to enhance the reader’s mood about Fortunato. Montresor portrays Fortunato as a villain and a scoundrel by what he says about him, however in the story there is no evidence of Fortunato being a bad person. Although there is no evidence of Fortunato, Montresor is