A master of reverse psychology, Montresor is by far a cleverer man than Fortunato—especially when the latter is drunk. At the time the story was written, interest in the workings of the criminal mind was significant. One of the rules Poe followed in his writing was to avoid excess.
Alfred A. Beneath the American Renaissance: It were a stale homily, were I to stay here, and remark upon the easy road from intemperance to crime. Most Masons did not hesitate to speak their minds, even if it meant challenging a higher power—or a friend. Silverman, Kenneth, ed.
One temperance group, the Washingtonians, had already commissioned an 1842 novel Franklin Evans from the young Walt Whitman that depicted the evils of alcohol. Every detail of his revenge plot—from the protection offered by the carnival season to the placement of the stones and mortar—is carefully planned and executed.
Man watches while a hired workman walls up his enemy in a niche of an Italian church. His Life and Legacy.
He believed that every detail in a story should be chosen carefully so that it helped to contribute to the mood he was trying to create.
Uncovering some stones and mortar buried nearby, he begins to wall up the entrance to the room.
One French police code referring to the Masons warned: Nevertheless, the established institutions in eighteenth-century Italy and France—especially the Catholic church—had reason to be concerned about the spread of this secret society.
Fortunato, now in a drunken stupor, makes an obscure sign and explains to Montresor that it is a gesture of the Masons. Daily Life in Eighteenth Century Italy.
The passageway is damp, and when it causes Fortunato to cough, Montresor, pretending to be concerned, tells him he should leave.
It must be understood that neither by word or by deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. Fortunato, still garbed in the costume of a court jester, gradually realizes what is happening to him and screams to be let out. Modern Language Association http: Poe, Edgar Allan.How to Pronounce Beret
According to this theory, Poe is the vengeful narrator Montresor, while the role of English is played by Fortunato. A short story set in the 1700s or early 1800s in Italy or France; published in 1846.