The obsession may derive because the men are equals in background, thus making Fortunato's insults that much more infuriating to Fortunato. Additionally, it seems from their elegant language to each other, they have the same level of education and social circles. Additionally, both men seem to have many of the same interests. While the plot takes advantage of the love of fine wines, it appears that they may have other things in common. Both men are at carnival which indicates a love of parties. Both love wine and pride themselves on their knowledge. Poe says," in the matter of old wines he,' meaning Fortunato.' Was sincere. In this respect I,' meaning Montresor,' did not differ from him materially" (748). Both men seem to have a ludicrous view of self import. Both it seems, may be masons. In the story, Fortunato is certainly a mason, but it is unclear whether Montresor is a mason because while he had the trowel, he did not know the hand gesture. Nevertheless, they both had an interest in this secret society and felt that it was sign of prestige.
Additionally, it can be inferred that both men possessed a dark sense of humor. Perhaps both have had their share of pulling off dark pranks and being the object of dark humor. This premise is evident by the fact that even until the last moment, as the alcohol wore off, Fortunato thought that Montresor may be joking. Finally, both men are arrogant. Fortunato truly believes that he is the one and only expert in fine wines and it is this arrogance that seals his fate. Throughout the journey into the cask, as Fortunato's cough worsens, Montresor taunts him by offering to take him home knowing full well that Fortunato cannot possibly resist the opportunity to taste. Indeed, Montresor depends on Fortunato's arrogance in order to kill him. Montresor, likewise, is arrogant in his perception of the slights suffered by him and served by Fortunato. Even fifty years later, Montresor sits reminiscing about the murder he committed and still justifies it.
The main difference between the two men was that Montresor was suspicious and ever alert, but Fortunato was foolish and easily led. Fortunato, as his name implies is favored by fortune. He is admired and adored in society and enjoys popularity. Fortunato has wealth and seems to be well respected by his family. It is perhaps his popularity which allows him to be misled by Montresor. Almost from the beginning of his story, Montresor takes advantage of Fortunato's cockiness and pride. The first manipulation is "As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me" (748). Montresor diabolically makes this statement because he knows that Fortunato will want to go with him to taste the Amontillado. It works beautifully because Fortunato insists that " Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry" (748).
Contrary to Fortunato, Montresor does not appear to be loved, respected, or one who enjoys a spot in society. Montresor it seems at one point in time seemed to be an equal of Fortunato but that time has faded. Montresor has a large family it seems and just as many friends but it seems is if that respect dwindled with all of the injuries he suffered. "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could, but when he ventured insult I vowed revenge" (747). It may be that the injuries delivered