My study of composition II has just ended, and I am delighted by the goals I have achieved. It has been such a fruitful and adventurous journey from the day I stepped into the class all the way to the end. Time flew fast. There was new student's orientation, the first day of the class; Thanksgiving breaks, midterm breaks, fall break, the final exams, and boom, within no time I was done with my Composition II class. As such, I wish to pause for a moment, reflect, and appreciate everything that has happened from day one until the final exams. Notably, the combination of classes that I enrolled in, the events that I attended, the poems that I read, the analysis that we conducted in class, the endless debates we engaged in, and the experiences and knowledge that I amassed made the course unique and different. Therefore, as you take your Composition II class, I would wish you to remember a few key things that will enhance your study and ensure success. To start with remember that with great power comes great responsibility, time is your most significant power in this class. Secondly, college is the best place to learn, that is the primary reason you are there, finally, remember that it takes time to achieve success, read hard, be patient, ask questions, and help each other throughout the composition II class; a problem shared, is a problem half solved. Finally, other than ensuring that you pass in your final exams, the various narratives, poems and stories that you analyze in composition II class has moral and probably life-changing lessons that you can deduce and adapt to better your life and increase your resourcefulness in the society.
From my perspective, I found the short story, The Cask of Amontillado, very educative and exciting to read and analyze. The narrative is authored by Edgar Allan Poe and was first published in November 1846 (Poe and Byron 2). The Story is set in unnamed Italian city during the Carnival celebrations. The storyline revolves around a man who takes revenge on a friend who had insulted him. The narrator, Montresor, opens the story by declaring that he has been irreparably abused by his acquaintance Fortunato and that he seeks revenge. However, he decides to exact his revenge intelligently, without putting himself at risk. Therefore, he chooses to use Fortunato fondness for wine against him. During the Carnival festivals, the narrator approaches Fortunato and informs him that he has a rare type of wine called Amontillado. He teases him that he is going to meet Luchesi, also a wine tester, to help him determine the authenticity and quality of the wine. Since Fortunato considers Luchesi, a competitor, he claims that this man cannot tell wine from vinegar (Axelrod-Sokolov 14). Fortunato is anxious to taste the wine, and he insists that they should go to Montresor's vaults to taste the wine. The two individuals proceed to Montresor's palace and enter the underground catacomb where Montresor keeps his wine. They both enter the edge of the catacombs where Montresor chains Fortunato into a nasty crypt. He then starts filing the opening with bricks and psychologically tortures Fortunato before sealing the entire opening leaving Fortunato to die. Towards the end of the narrative, we learn that the whole affair happened fifty years ago and that no one ever found out what happened (Delaney 35).
The terror surrounding this narrative resides in the lack of evidence that supports Montresor's claims that Fortunato has caused him a thousand injuries and insults (Sweet 10). The story highlights the use of revenge and mysterious murder has a means of retribution while avoiding the legal channels. Across the story, the law is nowhere in the author's radar screen, and the enduring theme of the story is that of punishment without proof. Montresor utilizes his subjective experience of Fortunato's insults and acts like a judge, executioner, and a jury, such aspects makes him also an unreliable narrator (Sweet 10). In the narrative, Poe utilizes color imagery as the primary element of questioning Montresor's motives. He depicts him as an individual with a black silk mask, an aspect that insinuates that Montresor represents not only a blind justice but rather its Gothic opposite; biased revenge. Contrary, Fortunato wears a motley-colored costume of the clown who is tragically deceived by Montresor's masked motive. These color schemes represent the irony associated with Fortunato death sentence. The allusion of the bones and skulls that lined the underground vault at Montresor's palace foreshadows the story's descent into the underworld and the imminent death that Fortunato faced. The two men's trip on the rusty and dark catacombs is a metaphor for their journey to hell (Delaney 35). Since the carnival festivals do not occur has Montresor wishes, he takes them to the underground realm of dead and satanic forces.
To sum up, the main moral lesson that infiltrates this story is that we should always be mindful how we treat others. It is easy to offend an individual inadvertently either by words or actions, an aspect that can damage relationships irreparably. Moreover, the story opened my mind further to understand that murder is unequivocally wrong and that revenge is just a temporary fix for issues that we face in life. Essentially, I realized that hate is never equal to the offense that it portends to make right especially if the retribution leads to murder. Montresor narrates these secret chains of events out of guilt that he committed murder, an aspect that consumes his heart and makes him bitter. Moreover, the story also accentuates the vices associated with gluttony; it is Fortunato's uncontrolled fondness for the wine that eventually leads him to his grave. Therefore, it is vital to note that revenge and greed have no spiritual benefits; instead, they contribute to an individual's eternal downfall and condemnation.
Axelrod-Sokolov, Mark. "The Madness of Insult in Poe's The Cask of Amontillado." Madness in Fiction, 2018, pp. 1-16., Doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-70521-7_1.
Delaney, Bill. "Poe's the Cask of Amontillado." The Explicator, vol. 64, no. 1, 2005, pp. 33-35., Doi: 10.1080/00144940509604808.
Poe, Edgar Allan, and Byron Glaser. The Cask of Amontillado. Creative Education, 1980.
Sweet, Charles A. "Retapping Poe's 'Cask of Amontillado.'" Poe Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 1975, pp. 10-12., Doi:10.1111/j.1754-6095.1975.tb00246.x.
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