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At the very beginning, The Cask of Amontillado may seem as another one short story, written by ambiguous and unexplainable personality Edgar Allan Poe, who most probaly, is suffering from the 'double face' syndrome, which appers as the duality of personality traits in different occasions of life. This specific characteristic of writers or artists in general, helps them to create phenomenal works of art and distinguish the internal person from the external. Therefore, The Cask of Amontillado leads us think that every detail has a deeper meaning and a message to get through. It is exciting to imagine how the author is creating the protagonist and how the narrator's point of view is relevant to the author's life and experience. Thus, storylines reveal exciting moments and give us a moral, which makes The Cask of Amontillado one of the most intriguing gothic stories ever read and analyzed by myself. The plot is overhelmed by the variety of he dualistic elements, which in campaign with descriptive details, develop a particular, gothic dark and artful mood.
Already the first lines of the story reveal the narrator's duality:" It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will." (para. 2) The story has just begun, but the will of using double meaning appears in narrator's - which is also a character in the story - mind, thus revealing the story's main essence, which is to display the event from two different sides, where one is artificial and humorous, and the other reflects to the real target - destroy the protagonist in a very ignoble way.
Throughout the story, smile and laughter are used to hide the most significant moments of the narrator's plans. In the other words, smile and laughter which are used quite oftenly, do not show the narrator's good will towards Fortunato, but hides his cruel minds and inner feelings:"I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not percieve that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation." It is a gothic smile, what makes him to hide his emotions, anger and temptation for blood, and to fool the Fortunato, that narrator could actually be friend not any enemy. Moreover, the author does not say if the Fortunato has the smallest suspicion about the narrator's true goal, but by Fortunato's blinded following, we can suspect that he is not aware of being dead soon.
The fact that the Fortunato was dressed in a jester's costume, makes him look and act naive. Later, the narrator reveals another significant duality:" My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking today." (para. 5) By word 'remarkably' narrator could mean 'significantly', because today Fortunato has to die, he is duped and therefore, by not knowing it, wears a costume which best describes his own tragic destiny. In gothic, protagonist usually owns something what indirectly shows his tragic dark status and upcoming letal fortune; which is also quite dualistic, because his name is 'Fortunato' and his fortune is to vanish from the earth in gloomy catacombs. Therefore he is destined to be dead and the name 'Fortunato' includes dualistic meaning, where one is to be lucky jester and at the same time foolish corpse.
Narrator's being a villain towards protagonist, reveals throughout the story. He is trying to make Fortunato blind, by telling him tempting things of the location of Amontillado, to get him closer to the trap. It is a dualistic trait of narrator, which shows himself as a good and kind man, but in his deepest meaning, is evel murderer. By saying:"we will go back; your health is precious," the narrator actually tries to make the Fortunato feel as an inconvenient and unreliable person, which is not strong enough to recover the treasure. (para. 35) The narrator is imposing a pressure on Fortunato's masculinity; as Fortunato does not want to be an underling, he answers:"The cough is a mere nothing." Though, he lets himself to be caught in villain's trap. In addition, the villain uses duality, inspiring words, while in reality he is eager to see the Fortunato's dead body.
The Cask of Amontillado is an perfect example of how duality is used in order to reach an exciting plot. The duality and gothic together makes the story mysterious. It also helps to make the main characters intriguing, because by saying one thing and doing another, we are left in unknown and wait with an excitement, what is going to happen next. The main details in this story, have two meanings, therefore it raises an interest for a reader and leaves with a pleasant 'aftertaste'. The dualistic way in which the main events are written, is catchy and humorous. Because of the events, which can be inerpreted in two ways, Edgar Allan Poe leaves an impression of being complicated, sophisticated, and at the same time competent writer of gothic stories.