Authors use themes and other methods to help define a story. Themes are used to help give the story a meaning, and a general feel of what’s happening. In the short story A Cask of Amontillado, the author implies many different types of themes throughout, setting an atmosphere for the events to take place. This is a story that takes place during a sort of holiday, or festival, similar to what we would know today as Halloween. In that story, the theme of Revenge is extremely prevalent. Along with many others, this will set the basis for the entire story and the events that will follow. There are more themes then the ones that are in this short story, however these are the most important. Themes are used in all stories to make each one different and unique, to make each story more exciting and to give the story some purpose.
The story begins with two characters, who are in a town, who at the time are celebrating with carnivals and festivals. The main characters decide to travel into the passage ways, in search of a type of aged drink or spirit. They travel into the depts of these passages further and further, until they reach the end, where they are faced with decisions that will change their lives. This encounter will lead to one of the characters not returning to the city ever again, and the other being left with feelings of satisfaction. In the end of the story they did find the cask of this beverage, however it would be lost to all others not to been seen again.
Revenge is the theme that stands out the most throughout the entire short story, A Cask of Amontillado. In the story, the main character wants to get want to get revenge on this friend, Luchresi for some unknown reason. The Main Character decides to take Luchresi into the depths of the catacombs under the city, in search of Amontillado. The two friends soon find the end of the catacombs, where Luchresi is first chained and then Blocked in by a Brick wall, constructed by the main character. This is what leads to the demise of Luchresi, and the fulfillment of the revenge that the main character desires. The main character desired to see his friend suffer and to be killed, as payback for what he may have done in the past, however this is unknown.
A Cask of Amontillado, also shows us how the main character is affected in the situation as well as how he obtained his revenge. The main character has his loss of innocence, when his way of revenge causes the death, or rather murder, of his friend Luchresi. He killed his friend by making his death away from everyone in the carnivals, in the town above them, and also intentionally leaving him to die. In the story, he is told to have placed a brick wall, made of stones and motor, across the entrance sealing Luchresi inside. These Actions of the main character make this an intentional killing of someone who, in the story has no criminal past that is told to us.
The last and final theme is Man versus himself. In the end of the short story, A Cask of Amontillado, the main character has a set of very mixed emotions. The main character has some feelings of sickness and of regret due what he is doing to his friend. His internal state of mind is combined with feelings of guilt and of remorse for his friend. These are battling in his mind for control of this actions. Does he kill his friend? Does he spare his friend? These are thoughts that the main character is facing when he is on the verge of killing him. In this nature he would not only be killing his friend but it would be murder, and intentional murder at that. In the end the thoughts of revenge push him to leave his friend to die alone in the catacombs under the city.
Throughout the story and the various themes that the author placed into it, we are able to get a sense of what the situation must have been like. First you have two friends that are connected and have some connections to the past. Connections that the two had in the past have led to the events that the characters take part in during the story. In the past, the main character must have had a bad experience with his friend, as he wants to have revenge on him. The main character also seems to be part of something bigger, as during a particular part of the story he tells Luchresi, that he is part of the brotherhood, also known as the masons. These connections may have played a part in the need for revenge as told in the short story.