The Cask of Amontillado Essay

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In the following essay, Engel discusses Poe's use of enclosures, both figurative and literal, in "The Cask of Amontillado."

Edgar Allan Poe used the enclosure device, whether an actual physical enclosure or an enclosure alluded to on the level of image and metaphor, in a highly artistic way. In much of his fiction, and specifically in "The Cask of Amontillado" (1846), the device helps to focus the action, assists in plot development, and has a profound impact on the main character, often affecting his personality. In his essay "The Philosophy of Composition" Poe remarked, "A close circumscription of space is absolutely necessary to the effect of insulated incident:— it has the force of a frame to a picture." A "circumscription of space," that is, an enclosure, I consider to be any sort of physical confinement that restricts a character to a particular area, limiting his freedom. That Poe intended...

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This section contains 1,899 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cask of Amontillado Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Cask of Amontillado from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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