At first glance, "The Cask of Amontillado" seems fairly far removed from students' daily reality. We're talking about two crazy old rich guys, anger management, drunkenness, and a punishment that doesn't fit the crime. Thinking about Poe's story more broadly, however, we see that random acts of violence and a difficulty in interpreting other people's actions are a universal theme relevant today, even more so to young people.
High school is a difficult time to get through and most students can relate to "pissing off the wrong person." Although they probably were not stashed away in someone's garage, students can relate to and engage with the concept of treading carefully when dealing with others and trying to understand the violence that oftentimes surrounds them in the media or real life.