Irony In The Cask Of Amontillado And Carnal Knowledge

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Temptations surround humanity. Whether it is a small craving for a delicious meal or the full-body anticipation waiting for the acceptance letter into college, humans have many desires. At times, the desperation for these luxuries can cause many to overlook obvious warnings, or it may cause some to partake in regrettable actions. The short stories “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Carnal Knowledge” contain characters who were so desperate to achieve their aspiration, they became oblivious to the severity and consequences of their choices. Guided by his egocentrism, Fortunato was unaware as he walked towards his own execution. Blindsided by his lustful attraction towards a stranger, Jim participated in many out-of-character excursions that were …show more content…

In the short story “The Cask of Amontillado,” there are a multitude of scenarios that present dramatic irony. For instance, Fortunato is wearing a jester’s costume throughout the entirety of the story. Jesters are commonly referred to as fools. The aforementioned detail is ironic considering the ease of which he was fooled and led to his execution. This sardonicism was not lost to Montresor, for he recognized how “pleased to see him” (Poe 116) in the “conical cap and bells” (Poe 116). Another example of the irony used would be the reference to Montresor’s family arms and family motto. His family arms depicts the scene of a foot of gold stepping on a serpent “whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” (Poe 118). His family motto is “Nemo me impune lacessit” which means “No one provokes me with impunity” in Latin (Poe 118). Both the arms and the motto symbolize Montresor’s intended revenge against Fortunato. To the audience, the irony is glaringly apparent. But to Fortunato, it goes unnoticed. Perhaps if he was a bit more aware of himself and his past actions, he would have been able to see the clear signs foreshadowing his demise. Similarly to “The Cask of Amontillado,” the short story “Carnal Knowledge” is littered with many ironic undertones. An example of one of these moments would be seen in the short story’s title. The word “carnal” is often used to describe physical or sexual needs and activities. Jim expressed many of his carnal desires towards Alena as he recounted their night of pleasure or when he expressed the temptation of “her bending over … in her Gore-Tex bikini” (Boyle 469). However, Jim found that with Alena’s sexual capabilities came her dedication to the rights of animals. This brings another sense of irony to the title. The word carnal may remind some of the Spanish word “carne” which stems from the Latin word

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