Symbolism in The Cask of Amontillado
Symbols play an important part in literary works. Most stories are full of them, and each one adds detail and background to the story. Some of them are obvious, and others are hidden away like treasures waiting to be found. Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado is full of all types of symbolism, some examples being the ...view middle of the document...
Not only is it something spoken of in the story, it is also mentioned in the title, showing its importance. Its dictionary meaning would be a large barrel like container used for storing liquids. However, in the story it means so much more. Symbols usually have connotative meanings as well, which have particular meanings based on the context. In this story, the cask’s connotative meaning is much more important than its denotative meaning.
The cask was used to lure Fortunato to his death. The word cask shares the same root as casket, which is used to hold dead bodies for burial. While it did not hold Fortunato‘s body, it was the object that tricked Fortunato into falling into Montresor’s trap. This ended with Fortunato being buried alive, in what ended up being similar to a casket.
The cask in this story is an example of a literary symbol, as a cask would not normally be associated with a casket. The meaning of the symbol was wholly established in the story.