"The Cask of Amontillado" - Research Article from Literature and Its Times

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by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe's horror stories have always been associated with his own tragic life, but they are also closely tied to American popular culture in the 1800s. Written in an era that valued sensational subjects, "The Cask of Amontillado" is a perfect example of this link to America. The story's focus-revenge-and its climactic scene-burial of a living man-were chosen in part to fit the American reader's appetite. Poe sets most of the story in the gloomy underground tomb of a European aristocrat, far from the familiar United States. Leading readers there, the narrator relates a mysterious, horrifying story from his past.

Events in History at the Time the Short Story Takes Place

An ambiguous setting. One of the rules Poe followed in his writing was to avoid excess. He believed that every detail in a story should be chosen carefully so that...

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This section contains 3,145 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the "The Cask of Amontillado" Encyclopedia Article
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Literature and Its Times
"The Cask of Amontillado" from Literature and Its Times. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.