Irony and Foreshadowing in Poe’s Short Stories

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In Poe’s short narratives. he uses literary devices like sarcasm and prefiguration to increase reader involvement in his narratives. Irony and Foreshadowing helps to make suspense. anxiousness. and wit in his plants. They besides help to capture the audience’s attending and pull them into the narrative. Poe’s sarcasm and prefiguration are integrated in “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” . “The Cask of the Amontillado” is one of the best illustrations of sarcasm and prefiguration in Poe’s plants. In this narrative. about every item seems to stand for something else. These dry inside informations foreshadow Fortunado’s atrocious decease.

Poe’s uses sarcasm and prefiguration to develop suspense and temper throughout this narrative. The first illustration of sarcasm in this narrative lies in the character’s name. The name Forunato is dry because it sounds like the word fortunate. Besides Fortunato translates to “fortunate one” in Italian and suggests good fortune. As we know from the beginning of the narrative. Fortunato is non so fortunate and his hereafter lies in the custodies of Montresor. Other sarcasms abound in the scene of the “Cask of the Amontillado. ” This narrative takes topographic point in Italy during Carnival. which is a joyous and happy clip full of household. friends. and nutrient.

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Carnival is the last topographic point one would believe of perpetrating a slaying. This dry scene is one of the grounds Montresor is so successful and is why Fortunato is so surprised. A more ocular and humourous sarcasm lies in Fortunato’s dress. “The adult male wore assortment. He had on a tightfitting parti-striped frock. and his caput was surmounted by the conelike cap and bells” ( Poe “Cask” ) . His gay outfit contrasts with the impending day of reckoning that awaits him. Besides. it is dry that Fortunato believes that he is intelligent on the topic of vinos. but he is dressed as a sap.

In add-on to irony. forshadowing is apparent in the gap paragraph of the “Cask of the Amontillado” . Montresor’s first words to the reader are: The 1000 hurts of Fortunato I had borne as I best could. but when he ventured upon abuse I vowed retaliation. You. who so good cognize the nature of my psyche. will non say. nevertheless. that gave vocalization to a menace. At length I would be avenged ; this was a point decidedly. settled –but the really definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the thought of hazard. I must non merely penalize but penalize with impunity ( Poe “Cask” ) .

Clearly. Montresor has serious purposes for Fortunato. and these remarks foreshadow Montresor’s retribution on Forunato at the terminal of the narrative. Montresor says he must non merely penalize but penalize with impunity. This foreshadows how an abuse drove Montresor to take justness into his ain custodies and implies that Forunato’s penalty was deserved. Later in the narrative we see how this justness is truly merely an alibi for slaying. Another case of prefiguration is when Montresor and Fortunato are in the vaults. looking for the cask of Amontillado. Fortunato begins to cough and says. “Enough. the cough’s a mere nil ; it will non kill me.

I shall non decease of a cough” ( Poe “Cask” ) . This foreshadows his decease because Fortunato was right in that he would non decease of a cough but that he would decease of something much more sinister. The clueless Fortunato besides mentions that he has forgotten what Montresor’s household coat of weaponries expressions like. Montresor describes his coat of weaponries as “A immense human pes d’or. in a field cerulean ; the pes crushes a serpent rampant whose Fangs are imbedded in the heel” ( Poe “Cask” ) . This symbolically foreshadows Fortunato’s decease because Montresor represents the human pes oppressing the snake. which represents Fortunato.

This coat of weaponries shows that Montresor was non the first in his household to take justness into his ain custodies. a intimation that Fortunato does non pick up on. “The Fall of the House of Usher” besides makes good usage of sarcasm and prefiguration. It is one of Poe’s most well-known short narratives and is considered one of his best. This narrative shows us how of import sarcasm and prefiguration are to a Gothic narrative by supplying suspense and wit to Poe’s narratives. One case of sarcasm in “The Fall of the House of Usher” is in one of Usher’s many pictures. In this picture. Usher paints a vault for the entombment of a organic structure.

This is dry because it portrays the grave in which Madeline will be buried. It besides shows how Lady Madeline would be buried alive. This picture signifies Usher’s dark ideas and leads us to believe that he planned to bury Lady Madeline alive. Another illustration of sarcasm is when the storyteller reads Usher the narrative the “Mad Trist” . The storyteller reads this narrative in order to quiet both his and Usher’s nervousnesss. This is dry because the “Mad Trist” is a lampoon about a mediaeval love affair. Poe introduces this narrative at the greatest minute of tenseness in the narrative ; the Narrator can non kip. a storm rages outside. and Usher is on the threshold of craze.

The storyteller could non hold picked a worse clip to read this book. ( Poe “Usher’ ) . Probably the most dry portion of the narrative was the alteration that Lady Madeline experiences before she is buried and after she is buried. When the storyteller foremost sees Madeline. before she is buried. she is exanimate and can hardly travel or speak. After she comes back from being buried alive nevertheless. she has much more of an impact on the people and things around her. When she comes back from the dead. she has adequate strength to undertake and kill Usher. This shows us that Lady Madeline has grown since her decease.

“The Fall of the House of Usher” is known for its Gothic elements. In this narrative Poe describes the house as bleak. gloomy. and close to crumpling down. When the storyteller foremost sees the house at the beginning of the narrative he says. “I know non how it was — but. with the first glance of the edifice. a sense of impossible somberness pervaded my spirit” ( Poe 139 ) . The somberness and desolation of the house foreshadows the day of reckoning and horrors that will happen inside the house subsequently on in the narrative. Poe lets us cognize from the beginning of the narrative that something deplorable will go on inside that house.

Poe’s description of the Lady Madeline as holding “affections of a partly cataleptical character” ( 155 ) predicts her early decease. The word cataleptical means to be in a province in which consciousness and feeling are lost and the organic structure assumes a death-like rigidness. Lady Madeline’s description foreshadows her decease because she is described as lifeless and lost. She seems as if she was already dead. The most obvious illustration of boding in this narrative lies in the rubric. “The Fall of the House of Usher” foreshadows what will go on to non merely the physical House of Usher. but besides the symbolic House of Usher.

Symbolically. the House of Usher represents the lineage of Usshers. When the house crumbles to the land at the terminal of the narrative. it represents the terminal of the Usher lineage. “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” give a battalion of illustrations of both sarcasm and prefiguration. Poe uses these literary devices to develop suspense and temper in these narratives. Without these literary devices. his narratives would look level and deadening. Poe’s literary devices are what captured and maintained my involvements thought his narratives.

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