Research Journal #4

1)              In my research journal #4 I decided to use the book Short Story Criticism (Volume 35)  by Anna Sheets Nesbitt. In my essay, I will be using two segments from this book. The first one has to do with Montresor’s dominance over vain Fortunato. Fortunato is like a mouse who gets caught in the trap set up by his enemy or so-called friend Montresor. What Montresor uses as bait to get Fortunato to cooperate with his morbid plan of execution is Fortunato’s weakness for wine tasting or his “connoisseurship”. Interestingly, in this case, Fortunato follows the Montresor’s pattern of behavior, and displays animosity towards Luchesi since he cannot put up with rivalry. He sees Luchesi inferior to himself, the same way Montresor sees Fortunato.The authors of Short Story Criticism notice:

Ironically, Fortunato makes the same judgment about Luchesi that Montresor makes about him. Because he dislikes him as a rival he considers him incompetent and beneath sympathy (“ And as for Luchesi he cannot tell sherry from Amontillado “). Both victor and victim accept the code although the one lives up to it and the other merely tries to. (Sheets 303)

Both Montresor and Fortunato are vain and do not accept rivalry. However, unlike Montresor who lives up to his hatred for Fortunato by murdering him, Fortunato displays more of a child-like resentment toward Luchesi. His animosity is not deep-rooted.

The second quote is related to the setting of the story and how the characters’ outfits foreshadow the death of Fortunato. In Short Story Criticism, the authors write:

By his wearing of motley Fortunato demeans himself below the level of a gentleman; no true aristocrat would ever willingly consent to make himself appear ridiculous. Montresor is pleased, apparently because it confirms his previous opinion of the man; also, it clarifies what his future role shall be; he will not vindicate his honor against the slight of an equal but administer a deadly rebuke to an insolent pretender. (Sheets 302-303)

Fortunato’s carnival outfit serves as a great excuse to Montresor to see him as his inferior. In Montresor’s eyes, Fortunato is nothing else than an imposter. This helps Montresor justify his actions against Fortunato. Fortunato is dressed like a fool and is treated like one by Montresor.

2)              The book I am using as a source is found in the reference section of the UCC library, which makes it credible.

3)              I really like the chosen quotes and think they make a great point. They support my arguments well, and fit well with the rest of my writing.

4)              The piece is one of the best sources I’ve found so far and will definitely be used in my paper.

5)              Sheets Nesbitt, Anna, Ed. Short Story Criticism. Vol. 35. Detroit: Cengage Gale, 1999. Print.





One response to “Research Journal #4

  1. I’m fond of Nesbitt’s work, as well. This is another great choice.

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