The Tell Tale Truth and Cask of Uncertainty
“The Tell Tale Heart” and the “Cask of Amontillado” by Edger Allen Poe both have narrators that are most likely liars. Both of the narrators probably would have a reason for lying to us about what they did because it would benefit them in some way. They are both very cautious and would be thinking ahead when writing these stories and figuring out what things would end up benefiting them if they put it into a story. The result of that is that we have no idea what is true and what is a lie in the two stories. The only way to know a little bit of what really happened with the two murders is by reading what the narrator and Montresor wrote in their stories. Although after reading the stories, there are a lot of things that we don’t know and there are a lot of things that we know we were probably being lied to about throughout them, we find out a lot about the two narrators and how they think and act. They both would have reasons to lie to us about their crimes and neither seems trustworthy when writing their stories. Montresor and the narrator were a bit insane, but they could still think for themselves, and they both most likely knew that lying a little when they were recounting their stories of murder might help them later on in life. Since both characters were most likely lying to us a lot about what they did, we can only think about how much of the truth each one of them is telling and decide which one we believe more. I think that the narrator from the “Tell Tale Heart” is telling a lot more truth than Montresor from “The Cask of Amontillado” based on his insanity and confession compared to Montresor’s secrecy and obvious anger.
I believe that Montresor told less truth in his story than the narrator from the “Tell Tale Heart” because of many reasons. After reading the “Cask of Amontillado”, I thought that Montresor might be leaving something out and adding things into his story to make it seem as if he didn’t do anything wrong. Montresor murdered a man in a very painful and drawn out way, and yet he said in the story that he gave Fortunato a chance to run away. That fact doesn’t make any sense considering the complex and horrible plan he had to kill Fortunato. Montresor wouldn’t be allowing any chance of his victim ruining the entire plan that easily. Also, Montresor seems like a very sinister person considering he basically buried one of his friends for a reason that isn’t even important enough for him to mention when he is giving background information at the beginning of the story. All that he would tell us was that Fortunato insulted him somehow, but he doesn’t tell us what that insult was. Based on that fact, I would be inclined to believe that Montresor might be overly sensitive, but also he is very cautious and strategic. If someone is overly sensitive, sometimes he will probably be extremely mad at anyone who insults him even if it is a small insult, and will let his anger cloud his judgment. Montresor got really mad at Fortunato because he insulted him somehow, and he ended up killing him, but according to what he said he did, he didn’t let anger cloud his judgment. He made sure he wasn’t caught, but when writing the story of this murder, he might have changed a lot of the details to his advantage. He was never caught for the murder, so he probably would have changed the places in the story. Also, he might have changed the names he had in the story so the police wouldn’t be able to find him and arrest him for murdering Fortunato. He had to change a lot to make sure he wouldn’t be caught and so put an amazingly huge amount of lies into his story.
The narrator from “The Tell Tale Heart” probably told a lot more truth in his story. I believe that because of many really good reasons. The narrator was completely insane; he killed a man just because the man had a weird eye. I think that if someone is that crazy, they probably won’t think to lie. Also he kept saying all through the entire story, that he wasn’t crazy and he didn’t see anything wrong with killing the man. If he didn’t see anything wrong with what he did, then why would he want to lie about the murder when he was writing the story? There would be no reason at all for him to lie to us if what he did wasn’t wrong at all. He thought that killing someone just because they have a creepy looking eye was something normal to do. He wouldn’t lie to us about that, especially because he was trying to prove to us that he wasn’t crazy but was actually normal. The narrator also confessed and gave the police evidence of the murder. The police wouldn’t just let him go after that, they probably put him in jail or an insane asylum. If the narrator was already in jail, there would be no reason for him to be giving us false information about the murder. He had nothing to gain by telling us lies in his story because he was already in jail and had already been caught so he didn’t have as much of a reason to lie as Montresor did. He seemed very stupid and insane in the story and in the story, so he wouldn’t be getting friends because of the story. If he was going to lie, he would have made himself seem a lot better than he did. All of those reasons tell me that the narrator was telling a lot more truth than Montresor was. Even though the narrator might want to make himself seem tougher so he would fit in more with the other people in jail. I however think that that is not a good enough reason for the narrator to lie as much as Montresor did.
The narrator from the tell tale heart and Montresor from “The Cask of Amontillado” were both lying in their stories, but the narrator from the “Tell Tale Heart” was telling more truth in his story than Montresor was. Montresor had some things in his story that didn’t make sense considering his personality. One of those things was the fact that Montresor said that he gave Fortunato a chance to escape. I don’t believe that because Montresor carefully planned the murder and at the end just walked away from his dying friend. The narrator from the” Tell Tale Heart was crazy, so he wouldn’t think to lie. There is almost no way that the narrator told more lies than did Montresor. He had almost nothing to gain by lying to us and so he probably just wouldn’t lie at all. Also the narrator wasn’t as sinister as Montresor; he wasn’t getting revenge on someone by killing them like Montresor was. The reason that the narrator killed the old man was because his eye scared him and freaked him out a lot. That shows that the narrator was probably a better person than Montresor was. All of those things contribute to my belief that the narrator from “The Tell Tale Heart” was not in fact lying as much as Montresor was. With all of those reasons, it would be enormously silly to think that Montresor was telling more truth than the narrator from “The Tell Tale Heart was.”