The Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allan Poe

Highlights of American Literature

edited by Dean Curry, based on a core manuscript by Carl Bode

Edgar Allan Poe's gothic tale, The cask of Amontillado, is really a story about the loss of face, or "amor propio".

Face is a very important aspect of all Southeast Asian cultures.

  • What is the expression in your language for the loss of face?
  • What other English words come to mind when you think of the word "face" in this sense?
  • Think of as many words as you can, or consult the thesaurus in the pull down menu under Tools in your word processor.
  • Which of the words below seem closest to your culture's notion of face? Check a thesaurus for synonyms if you are not sure.










Discuss these ideas with a friend
  1. Think of some ways that people in your country try to gain, or maintain, face with friends, colleagues and strangers.
  2. How can a person lose face among friends, colleagues or strangers? Again, think of some examples.
  3. Think of a time when you did something to gain face. Was there any single time in your life when you gained the most face among your friends, family, teachers or colleagues?
  4. Can you think of an embarrassing incident that happened to you, or to somebody you know, in which you or the other person lost face?
  5. Are there times when a foreign visitor to your country might cause somebody to lose face without knowing it? Think of some advice that you give a foreign visitor about your country's culture.
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An excellent synopsis of The Cask of Amontillado can be found at:

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contents ••• title page ••• author ••• pre-story ••• in-story ••• exercises ••• follow-up