“The Tell-Tale Heart” andthe “Cask of Amontillado” speak of vengeance and brutality. Stories containing madnessand satisfaction, the narrator’s tell each story based on their personalaccount. The way in which they deliver their confessions gives an eeriedeepness to the crimes they have committed. Both men are driven by their egosand their craze with their culprits. Motivated by their own fantasy, each manseeks revenge against his opponent in the form of calculated homicide.
Cautiously the Montresor plannedexactly how he would get his revenge on Fortunato. There was time and energy dedicatedto this scenario, devising a time that would be best. Much time and greatenergy was devoted to this plan, choosing a time that would be best: during afestival when the town was celebrating making it easier to sneak off withoutbeing noticed. No detail is lost; he allows for no obstacles. He carries hisplan with such assurance that he never sways from carrying out his plan. To carryon with his plan, he then shows false care for Fortunato as they walk passedthe catacombs.
Faulting the dampness in the air, the Montresor suggests thatthey go back so they don’t endanger Fortunato’s health, when really he doesn’t havethe intent in doing so. Not once did Fortunato suspect any foul play. In the “The Tell-TaleHeart”, the narrator has took the time to thoroughly plan. He sneaks into the man’sroom until l he is ready to carry out his plot.
His dissatisfaction does notlie with the old man. He claims to have love for the old man and admits thatthe man had given reason for his murderer to wish death upon him. Instead it isthe old man that is unsettling. He is taken back by the eye looking at himwhich makes him mad. It makes him to wish to never look at or be looked at bythat eye again. In his mind, the solution would be to kill the old man. With a closeto similar finess as the Montresor took in “The Cask of Amontillado”, the manin “The Tell-Tale Heart” had a dedicated plan to kill. The point of view eachstory is told from is a key factor to the unfolding of the events.
Had theybeen told by an outside party rather than first hand from the men who committedthe crimes, the depth of their insanity may not have been revealed. Recountedwith a harsh callousness, Montresor never pauses or hesitates in his retelling.He speaks with an unnerving smoothness as if he were speaking of something farmore innocuous than murder. Just the same, he would allow for no distractionfrom his plan. His cool manner lends itself to an eerie glimpse of hispersonality.
No real regret is ascertainable, save for the very end when theMontresor tells us that his. The narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, however,confesses his crime with an edgy nervousness. His story is choppy anddisruptive. His madness has a stronger sense of urgency. His remorse for theloss of the old man can be clearly detected among his admission. In both narrations, the men each speak with pride of their handiwork.
Neitherseems to have any idea of his own disturbed mental state. Both of the men mayhave started out sane at some point and were driven to the point of madness andmurder over time. In either case, they are after vengeance for reasons whichmake little sense to anyone but themselves. .. The other man has been driven tohis frenzy from an obsession with the old man’s offensive eye which. He quiteinsistently declares that he is not mad.
His examples for arguing against hismadness are those of how methodically he plotted the murder. His continuedurging that he is quite sane heightens the sense that he is truly very far fromsane. The delivery and ego with which the stories are infused lends itself tomake the reader further question the validity of these stories; as they arecoming directly from the men who have committed murder upon seemingly innocentmen.
They are told through a veil of irrational justification of theiratrocities. With what to each manmust seem to be brilliance, they have both selected burial as the method ofdisposal for the bodies. They quite literally cover their evidence.
TheMontresor leads Fortunato to the far recesses of his family catacombs wherethey shan’t be heard. Once there, he bricks Fortunato alive into the catacombswhile still alive. The other opts to kill first, then dismember and hide theold man’s body beneath the very floorboards in his room. They are coveringtheir tracks thoroughly and in a manner that is most disturbing to a mind lessunsettled than their own. While these plans seem sensible to them, their viewof this method only continues to add to the overall feeling of mentaldisturbance that each man carries. The victims of each murder are isolated. They are trapped with no one but theirmurderers.
The setting is vital to the telling of each of these stories as itadds much more feeling to the recanting of the deaths. The darkness of the roomin “The Tell-Tale Heart” builds upon the intense fear and the mystery of howthe story will pan out. The quiet and stillness of the dark room heighten thesense of terror. The dampness and the cold of the catacombs in “The Cask ofAmontillado” adds an overall coldness and eerie horror. Being in a place ofdeath, surrounded by buried family members of generations past extends a gothicfeeling to the tale. Both stories are given descriptive detail as to thesurroundings: the enveloping darkness of the old man’s chambers in “TheTell-Tale Heart” and the lengthy, dark and damp vaults depicted in “The Cask ofAmontillado”.
Though it is written onlyof “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Magdalen Wing-chi Ki’s writings could easily beapplicable to “The Cask of Amontillado” as well in “Ego-Evil and “The Tell-TaleHeart”. She writes,. Both men pursue their actions as a result of their ego.They are self-obsessed as well as consumed by that which they seek to destroy.She goes on to say. Each story is being told first person, by the man who didthe plotting and carried out the deed.
One is very clearly a confession andwrought with guilt. The other telling, courtesy of the Montresor, appears to bea boastful recanting of the events which occurred that night. It does not seemthat he is remorseful in any way or admitting any fault for his crime, nor doesit give the impression of being a true confession. The events are swayed by thetwisted minds sharing their own account of how they recall things to havehappened. “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” both focus on deadlyrevenge.
In each case, a retribution that is carried out in a cruel and callousfashion. The men fulfilling these actions are cold, calculating, andcontemplative. They have painstakingly endeavored to seek retribution againstwhat has plagued them: Fortunato and his insults to the Montresor and the oldman’s piercing, chilling eye for the man from “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Driven tothe point of madness by their own obsessions, they plot to murder theiroffenders. The tales are told each by the man who has indeed committed thecrime. Each man’s insanity becomes more and more clear as they narrateconfession; the Montresor with the unfailing ease with which he dictates hisaccount and the man from “The Tell-Tale Heart” with his jagged and roughdelivery. Their distinct mental instability calls into question to reliabilityof the report they give.