The contrast between freedom and confinement is extreme in “The Cask of Amontillado.” For one character to be free, another must die. Most of the story takes place in a vast and incredibly foul smelling catacomb, or underground graveyard. Dead bodies (or at least bones) abound. Freedom becomes less and less of a possibility as the characters move into smaller and smaller crypts, each one more disgusting than the last. Such confinement makes both the readers and the characters appreciate the deliciousness of fresh air. Hopefully, it makes us, the readers, think more deeply about what makes us feel trapped, and what makes us feel free.
Even though Fortunato dies and Montresor lives, Fortunato is still the freer character of the two.