Conflict In The Masque Of The Red Death

1323 Words 6 Pages
Death can be a very scary thing for some people or a calming idea for others. Everyone had different ideas on death and what happens afterword, but one thing is for certain; everyone does die. I read Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death”. In which a Prince lives in a land with a plague, but he still thinks he can avoid death. He even believes he can throw a party, but death proves you cannot avoid it. I also watched the Movie I am Legend. Dr. Neville lives in a post apocalyptic world, where he spends his time trying not to die and trying to save the human race. But he too learns that he must die at some point. Both the Poe story “The Masque of the Red Death” and the modern story I am Legend show that death is unavoidable …show more content…
Both main characters believe that they can avoid the plague and it will not affect them. In the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” Prince Prospero was described as a dauntless and sagacious man. He did not think the plaque would affect him, and certainly not so soon. He was so confident in his ability to avoid death he throws a party when the rest of the nation is dying around him “When his dominions where half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends” (Poe1). The Prince believes that the walls he built will be enough to protect him, but death proves that it cannot be stopped by a mere physical boundary. The conflict in I am Legend is also do to a plague, but one that has devastated the whole world. This plague has not only killed people, but it turns some of them into zombie like characters that feed off of living creatures. Dr. Neville has to spend his time running from these creatures and trying to save them. Just before he realizes he is going to die; he yells at the creatures saying “I can help. I can save you. I can save everybody.” (Lawrence). It is his last resort, he cannot escape death and he knows it, even if he did find a cure. Finding that cure came with a price, a price that someday we all will pay, death. The conflicts in both these stories are so strikingly similar; it …show more content…
In the Short story “The Masque of the Red Death” the main symbol is the uninvited guest arriving at the Prince’s party. When this guest arrives nobody knows who he is or why was at this party. He frightened many quests with his outfit “The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded in head to foot in habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat.” (Poe 3). The guest in this story dresses so similar to death that it was as if death had arrived at the party. No one wants death to arrive prematurely or without invite; the guest arriving uninvited symbolizes the death of Prince Prospero arriving uninvited. The symbolism in the movie I am Legend differs from Poe’s story but delivers a similar message that death was coming and will come. Dr. Neville only has his dog, Sam, to keep him company in the plague-ridden world he has to endure. After a particularly bad encounter with the plague-infected humans his dog starts to die. His dog dying symbolizes his own life starting to come to an end. Dr. Neville’s only companion is dying and he starts to lose it; he starts talking to mannequins because he has nobody left “I promised a friend I would say hello to you today. Please say hello to me. Please say hello to me”

Related Documents