Monday, November 08, 2010


Revenge is the theme of 'The Cask of Amontillado', one of Poe's more famous short stories. In this story the narrator tells about the revenge he takes on the poor soul who dared to insult him. I like this story because it's fun to show how Montressor gets his revenge and teach them about theme at the same time. The students like it because it's dark and creepy and allows them to safely fantasize about really getting even with someone who has done them wrong.

Thematic webs come in handy here because it allows the student to write down all the things that Montressor does to get even with the ironically named Fortunado (Italian for fortunate). For example he uses his knowledge of wine to bait him to coming to his palazzo to examine a pipe (110 gallons) of Amontillado. He then pretends to be concerned about his cold and 'tries' to talk his drunk (he keeps him drunk as well) victim out of venturing under his empty (no witnesses) palazzo to the catacombs where the wine is. I could go on but go read it for yourself. It's pretty cool in a creepy way.

That is the first of the three stories my students will be reading. The other two are 'The Most Dangerous Game' and 'The Necklace'. In addition, my honors students are finishing up 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and I got my kids to the library for the 2nd quarter book project.