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According to McDermott, this direct lineage and relationship that both novels owe to Faulkner is tremendous. The murder of Homer is a flashback and a continuation of Emily's dysfunctional relationship with her father. Just as she later holds onto Homer's corpse, she also refuses to let her father's corpse go for three days. Although both male figures dominate her, she can not let them go. Her aberrant grieving for her father foreshadows her later necrophilia. As a last attempt to capture long lost love, she has to murder Homer. She then holds onto the decomposing corpse for decades, just as she does all of the other old, decomposing things in her life.
From Ms. Emily's home Edgar Allan Poe seems like a natural progression. "Unlike Poe's other mysteries, the Cask of Amontillado" is not a tale of detection. There is no investigation of the murder of Fortunato and Montresor himself explains how he commits the crime and claims that the motive is revenge. However, the cryptic details leave this open to interpretation. Mystery and suspense still surrounds the motive for the murder and how Montresor used his position of trust as a friend of Fortunato to trick him into a situation of revenge.
Like most analysts of the story, Baraban leaves open the motive of the murder.
The reader must use foreshadowing to sort this out since no detective is available. Baraban also brings up the possible motive of insanity, but questions it due to the intricate details of the plot (Baraban). Psychotics certainly are usually not self-maintaining individuals, so this does not meet the criteria of an explanation, at least for incompetent ones who get caught. However, this only adds to the mystery.
Fortunato claims to be a connoisseur of fine wine, but the story line definitely raises question about this line of analysis. To illustrate Fortunato's lack of knowledge, all that must be considered is the way he becomes so drunk that he can not tell the difference between Amontillado and De Grave, a very expensive French wine that he gulps down with little regard (Moffitt 41-42).
The bricklaying theme adds to the mystery and adds to macabre foreshadowing. Many of Poe's stories usually employ knowledge from some personal life experience, although the lack of detailed biographical information for much of Poe's life leaves this as a mystery, as well as his possible relationship with Freemasonry or secret societies. Therefore, the story is replete with the conflicts between autocratic and inflexible Catholic orthodoxy and democratic, ecumenical and secret Freemasonry. The antagonism then between the two men takes on an almost quasi-religious aspect that plays itself out on both socioeconomic and religious levels simultaneously. The economic success and upward mobility enjoyed by the linked and cliquish Freemasons as opposed to the poor of the Catholic Church is marked and stark in its contrast. In addition, all sorts of forbidden mysteries come to the fore in the background of the story, adding to the suspense as the plot builds. In addition, it adds an international aspect of mystery to the tale, transporting the reader from the early nineteenth century America of Poe's day back to 18th century Italy where the story takes place (Rodriguez 41-42).
Certainly, the reader can not trust anything that Montresor says. The betrayal of trust and murder perpetrated on Fortunato the victim is played out on the reader as well. The can not trust a thing he says and continually have to keep checking the details. Like "A Rose for Emily," foreshadowing and the southern gothic.
Baraban, Elena V. "The Motive for Murder in 'The Cask of Amontillado' by Edgar Allan
Poe." Rocky Mountain E-Review of Language and Literature 58.2 (2004): 5 Jun 2010.
Hong-mei, Yang. "Use of Literary Elements in Characterization and Theme Presentation:
Comparison and Contrast of John Steinbeck's the Chrysanthemums With William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily." U.S.-China Foreign Language, 6 (2008): 6.5, 71-75.
McDermott, John. '"Do You Love Mother, Norman?: Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"
and Metalious's Peyton Place as Sources for Robert Bloch's Psycho." Journal of Popular Culture, 40 (2007): 454-467.
Moffitt, Cecil L. "Poe's Wine List." Poe Studies. V.2 (1972): 41-42.
Rodriguez, Julian. "Parody and Language in "The Cask of Amontillado" by E.A. Poe."…[continue]
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