The Development of Situational Irony in Cask of Amontillado

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Bullying is a real problem in society today, in the past, and will continue to be an issue in the future. Bullies are people who are either insecure about themselves, or they enjoy putting people down. Sometimes people bully in groups because it makes them feel like they are apart of something. Someone who stands by and watches is called a bystander and these people doing nothing to help, which make the situation worse. Bullies must have a reason for what and why they bully. 

Some readers believe that bullying began a long time ago, and has evolved over the course of time, with the help of literature. Bullying in literature can be seen as a learning experience, a way to prevent it, and to figure out why people bully others. Bullying is seeking to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone perceived as vulnerable (The Connection Between Literature and Bullying in the Classroom). Usually, bullies are in a group of people teaming up on one person. In “the young adult literature examined by Hughes and Laffer, a trend developed where the bully was keen to maintain their status or sense of control” (The Connection Between Literature and Bullying in the Classroom). In many books, readers can see the bully and the victim going back and forth. In many cases, the antagonist of a story can be seen trying to prove himself or herself that he is actually good, but it ends up backfiring and making the situation worse. 

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

In the novel Grendel, the monster Grendel is just one of a long line of literary monsters whose inner lives resemble those of humans but whose outer appearances keep him from enjoying the comforts of civilization and companionship. Grendel’s pain is all the more severe because he is brought so close to mankind and yet always kept at a distance. Grendel and the humans share a common language, but the humans’ disgust for and fear of Grendel prevent any actual meaningful exchange. In the story, “Shaper’s tale of Cain and Abel—the two sons of Adam and Eve who are the ancestors of Grendel and humankind, respectively—further underscores Grendel’s tragic status. Grendel and humankind share a common heritage, but this heritage keeps them forever locked in enmity as opposed to bringing them closer” (SparkNotes: Grendel: Themes). Grendel is an example of a bully because he is socially awkward and was raised in isolation. He does not know how to express himself and when he tries to, the men just see him as a threat. Grendel is only trying to fit in with everyone else, which can relate to a kid trying to make friends at a new school. Sometimes bullying can take place between a person manipulating someone to get what they want. 

Throughout the short story Cask of the Amontillado, Poe writes in order to try and explain to the reader that pride can be evil. Montresor is a deceiving person who tries to mess with Fortunato’s mind and feelings. He showed no emotion when he killed Fortunato’s family and by doing so, he was breaking him down. However, Fortunato only cared about his reputation and his craving for revenge. He felt that an unspoken insult was his motive for killing someone. Montresor is a type of bully who harasses others to make him feel better about himself. Revenge and pride can be motives for bullies because they mainly want themselves to feel better. Most of the time bullies feel better about themselves by making others feel bad. “Montresor’s and Fortunato’s pride leads them to their own destruction and they don’t even realize it” (Pride and Revenge in ‘The Cask of Amontillado). In contrast, people are susceptible to bully others who do not have good social skills or mental disabilities. 

Lennie and George are treated as dumb ranch hands in the novel Of Mice and Men. They are treated badly by their boss because they arrived late to work on the first day. George tells the boss that Lennie was kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid, to hide the fact that Lennie is mentally impaired. The boss of the ranch can be seen as a bully because he takes advantage of the mentally impaired. Manipulation of people who are mentally impaired is a type of bullying that is most common. People who look or act different then a “normal” person are targeted by bullies because they are an easy target. Bullies hunt down easy targets because they cannot defend themselves as easily as other people. The “men are largely depicted as socially isolated and economically exploited”(How Are George and Lennie Treated by the Boss in Of Mice and Men?). The ranch hands are made to work hard at a very physical job and are fed and allowed some free time during the weekend. Steinbeck depicts ranch life by having George and Lennie comment on how different their lives are to other people. 

Every day people are judged upon their physical appearances, personalities, or lifestyles, which causes people like Piggy in the novel Lord of the Flies or homosexuals in our modern society to be rejected and alienated from our culture. Due to many peoples harsh comments, they are sometimes shut off from society when their opinion is exposed. Throughout the novel, “the reader can see that the others are clearly bullying Piggy as they continue to manipulate him as if he was some sort of toy”(How Bullying Effected Piggy). Piggy genuinely tries to make an impact on the other boys, but they do not want to hear his opinion and shut him down. The more Piggy is singled out by Jack and the others, the more he is silenced by society and denied his rights of respect from the others. This bullying causes Piggy and the others to be considered outcasts and treated unfairly simply because Jack wanted to have the majority of the power on the island. This constant bullying also caused others to join in the bullying of Piggy, such as when, on page 138, the boys are laughing at Piggy’s pain from being burnt. 

When everyone began to laugh at his pain, the boys were laughing to cheer themselves up, but they were not thinking of how they were making Piggy. The boys were bystanders who sat and watched the bullying happen. They do not seek help or stop the situation from occurring. Sometimes people join in on the bullying because they are afraid they will be a bullies next target. Not only can bullying be a one on one interaction, but often times bullies are seen in a group of people. The novel The Outsiders, is a story that contains physical bullying. The novel’s complexity arises from its mature situations. It is a study of class warfare and prejudice. The “text is a narrative written by Ponyboy to describe two crazy weeks, when an armed brawl between Greasers and Socs cost one boy his life, and led to the death of another. (The Outsiders: Character in the Face of Discrimination and Bullying). Johnny’s life has been filled with vulnerability, child abuse from his violent, alcoholic father, then bullied and attacked by the Soc’s. People come from many different backgrounds, so people should take into account that someone might not come from a wealthy, loving home. Some people will never know what others are going through.Victims of bullying could be dealing with issues at home, which makes them even more sad or depressed after being bullied. Bullies look for people who are sad and depressed because like mentally impaired people, they to are easy targets (Bullying: A Physician’s Perspective). 

Right from the beginning of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, readers saw Harry Potter bullied by his own relatives or extended family. When he was not locked in a cupboard, Uncle Vernon shouted at him, Aunt Petunia treated him as though he was worthless, and his cousin beat him up for fun. As he had no friends or other families to turn to, Harry was completely alone. To “be bullied is a constant nightmare. It’s feeling cold, as though Dementors are near, because you’re dreading what certain people will say or do”(How Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Tackled Bullying). Draco Malfoy, one of the antagonists in the book, called Hagrid a ‘savage’ and called dismissed Hagrid as a ‘savage’ and called the Weasleys ‘riff-raff’(How Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Tackled Bullying), because the Malfoys believed that pureblood wizards were better than muggle-borns. For the first time, Harry came across prejudice within the wizarding world and he became aware of Draco and his pact. Like Johnny from The Outsiders, Harry came from a family who disliked him. Draco Malfoy bullied Harry from the start because he was muggle born, meaning both of his parents were not wizards. Malfoy was also jealous of Harry because of his last name Potter which is a well-known name at Hogwarts. Once Harry dismissed Draco, Draco decides to try and make Harry’s life miserable. Harry was not the only one targeted by bullies. Malfoy and his friends were especially cruel to Neville Longbottom, who was too scared to stand up for himself. 

Though Neville’s mistakes were often funny, there is nothing funny about the pain he went through. He was made fun of because of his looks, his stuttering problem, and his quirks. Malfoy loved to bully others who he thought were not as good as him because it made him feel accomplished. Just like the bullying from Malfoy, and other bullies in stories, they can make negative impacts in people’s lives. Bullying is getting a lot more attention in the media, and it appears to be taken a lot more seriously now than in the past. There are serious health risks, such as low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse, and suicide attempts. There are more than two hundred thousand attempted suicides, and five thousand completed suicides among teens each year. Now bullying exists online, and “is more common because the factors involved in bullying are not just physical or verbal in a school setting” (Bullying: A Physician’s Perspective). It used to happen in the schools, and often teachers and parents were not aware of it. Now, people are taking a stand against bullying over the internet. 

Most bullies are on the internet because they feel safer that they are behind a screen, instead of being face to face with someone. Cyberbullying is now more prevalent than ever in society. However, face-to-face bullying still occurs and leaves victims in mental and physical pain. Physicians say that bullying can really affect people’s lives for years. Bullying has changed throughout the course of literature and as time has gone on. Literature has many examples of bullying that show how cruel it can be and how it takes a toll on the person. Learning about bullying through literature can help one understand the extent of it and how to prevent it. Bullying can affect a person’s mental health as well as physical health. Doctors and physicians are taking steps to recognize and prevent these actions from happening. There are many types of bullying that occur on a day-to-day basis that need to be stopped. Bullying in literature has helped many people understand its origins and why people commit the act. day-to-day

Get quality help now


Verified writer

Proficient in: Literature

4.9 (2552 reviews)
“She was able to compose a 3-4 page essay in less than 24 hours and the results were fantastic !! Ty so much and I'll be using her again ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Essay Samples on Topic

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.