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The Case for Sanity

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The Case for Sanity

The story of “Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe is a thought-provoking and intellectual short story woven together by thorough detail, symbolism, and analysis of human nature. The reader is left with many questions regarding the mysterious and dark story because it is a confession of sorts by Montresor. The most prominent question of all, is Montresor insane? Could it be possible to murder someone over a verbal insult and still be in one’s right mind? One could conclude after multiple reads and after gaining a better understanding of the irony in the story that a person in their right mind(sane), but with ill intentions, as in the case of Montresor, would be able to plan such a brutal crime.
One must take into consideration, what is sanity? As defined by Merriam-Webster “sanity is the quality or state of being sane; especially: soundness or health of mind,” (“sanity”). With that definition in mind, it is important to consider what determines the soundness or health of mind? In today’s society those determinations are made through the use of ethics and morals. In general, a person’s sanity is questioned when others believe someone has done something ridiculous/extreme and out of the ordinary, or during trials for crimes. During trials for crimes, it would be efficient to say that a person has done something extremely ridiculous and out of the ordinary for most people, like robbing or murdering someone.
For all intents and purposes, it could be argued that Montresor could be insane. To hold onto a grudge for such a long time over an insult, then to plan, what, in the end, is the perfect murder, could also be deemed as sane. However, would a person who is deemed sane, be able to put that much thought into a step by step murder, and feel no guilt? The story serves as a confession by Montresor almost 50 years later. Some people might…...

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