On the Construction of the Gothic Effect in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado毕业论文
2.1 The gothic effect achieved by the compact plotting ————————————3
2.1.1 The “confessional” ending correlated with the revengeful beginning————–3
2.1.2 The progressive plot of the grotesque walling-up of Fortunato ——————–4
2.1.3 The open ending of Fortunato ———————————————————-5
2.2 The gothic effect created by the eccentric and psychopathic characters ————5
2.2.1 The malicious, monster-like Montresor ———————————————–6
2.2.2 The ignorant, never-fortunate Fortunato ———————————————-7
2.2.3 The conversations between the two characters ————————————– 7
2.3 The gothic effect rendered by the gloomy atmosphere and setting——————-8
2.3.1 The terror of Montresor’s house ——————————————————–9
2.3.2 The terror of the corridor—————————————————————–9
2.3.3 The terror of the deep vault ————————————————————10
On the Construction of the Gothic Effect in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is a nineteenth-century American poet, short story writer and literary critic. He enjoys a special position in the history of American literature because he has made great contributions to American literature and world literature. He was the first American writer to write the true Gothic novel as well as the first to illustrate the theory of Gothic fiction creation systematically.
Born in Boston, Poe was the second child of two actors. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Thus orphaned, the child was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia. Poe attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. Poe quarreled with Allan over the funds for his education and enlisted in the Army in 1827 under an assumed name. It was at this time that his publishing career began, albeit humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827) credited only to “a Bostonian”. Later failing as an officer’s cadet at West Point and declaring a firm wish to be a poet and writer, Poe parted ways with John Allan. Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. Later, he acquired a great success in novels, and published a series of famous works, such as The Fall of the House of Usher, Ligeia, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, People in the Crowd. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. In January 1845, Poe published his poem The Raven to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore. The precise cause of his death is still unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, drugs, heart disease, suicide, tuberculosis and other agents.
As a prolific writer, Poe has written many works in his short life, including poems, novels, detective stories and gothic stories. Gothic stories have brought Poe an international fame. One of his classic gothic stories The Cask of Amontillado was written in 1846 as a successful short story in Poe’s later writing period. The story is told in the first person point of view. Montresor, the narrator, is confessing his crime to a silent audience, describing vividly the whole process of the murder of Fortunato committed by him 50 years ago. Most studies concerning this story probe into it from the perspectives of symbolism, writing skills, narrative skills etc. This paper focuses on the construction of the gothic effect in this short story.