Theme Of Alcoholism In Edgar Allan Poe

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Alcohol is a noteworthy theme throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s writing. This may be because of Poe’s struggle with alcoholism. There are two prominent stories Poe has written with strong themes of alcoholism. These stories are the “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Black Cat”. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, alcohol plays a large role in the story. Alcohol is the bait used for Fortunato, which leads to his eventual death. This story can be interpreted as an internal struggle in regards to alcoholism. “The Cask of Amontillado” illustrates alcohol as a negative substance. Alcohol is the bait Montresor has set up for Fortunato in “The Cask of Amontillado”. Fortunato can’t help but get lured into the trap because of his thirst for alcohol. …show more content…

Montresor’s family motto translates to: no one provokes me with impunity. Fortunato has insulted Montresor, which seals his fate in Montresor’s eyes. Once someone has insulted Montresor, that someone can expect punishment. The family motto confines Montresor’s mind into believing that Fortunato must be killed. Despite the lack of vindication for Fortunato, Montresor is bound to be affected negatively by the murder. For the rest of Montresor’s life, he has to hold on to the secret that he murdered Fortunato. Secrets such as these take a toll on individuals. Another take on “The Cask of Amontillado” is that Fortunato acts as a symbol for Montresor. By killing Fortunato, Montresor is also symbolically killing a part of himself that he is ashamed to possess. The act is not purely performed out of revenge, but subconsciously as a way to move past Montresor’s weaknesses. This does not play out for Montresor, because even fifty years after the incident, his account of the event in question is highly detailed. The murder has not left his mind, and it is not bound …show more content…

“The Masque of the Red Death” confines a group of people to one building to prevent death. Unfortunately, death finds them anyway. No matter how hard one tries, avoiding the situation will do no good. One day the situation will be forced to be faced. “The Black Cat” has a concise message regarding confinement compared to other stories of Poe’s. In many ways, the narrator is confined mentally. Once he starts drinking, his irritability is constant. He is annoyed by Pluto(his cat), and he has begun to abuse his wife. After he starts living the way he is now, he cannot go back to living the way he lived before. The narrator cuts out his cat’s eye, and later kills the cat. The narrator is confined to his path of madness and drunkenness. The narrator’s irritation gets worse, and he attempts to kill the new cat. His wife interjects, and the narrator kills his wife in anger. He chooses to hide his wife’s body in the walls of the cellar. The police search his house, but they don’t find anything, and the narrator becomes overly confident. When he taps the wall hiding his wife’s dead body with a cane, there’s a loud shrieking noise. Ultimately, the narrator gets

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