Tone in The Cask of Amontillado

Poe’s overall tone in The Cask of Amontillado is unsettling and ominous. He uses irony and chilling humor to create a feeling of uneasiness in the audience. The lack of a reliable narrator and exposition to explain the revenge or the characters’ motivations creates sinister undertones—almost as if the audience is missing out on major parts of the story.

The Cask of Amontillado 2
"revenge..."   (The Cask of Amontillado)

Poe utilizes a stylistic principle in this paragraph by having the most important words come at the end of sentences. Note how each word adds to the power of the line, the prose, and to the overall mood and tone of the piece.

"progress arrested by the rock..."   (The Cask of Amontillado)

This means that Fortunato had come to end of the recess in the granite wall. He had expected to find the Amontillado but had only found the granite rock wall of the remotest side of the catacombs. He was trapped there although he didn't understand this. The choice of "arrested" also adds to the ominous mood because of the associations it has with jail.