Examples Of Tone In The Masque Of The Red Death

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The mood, or atmosphere, of a story helps a reader to have a greater understanding of what he or she is reading. The mood is established by the writer’s tone, which is a reflection of the author’s feeling towards the subject. Edgar Allan Poe was a remarkable American writer from the 19th century who mastered the use of mood and tone. He is widely known for his ominous style of writing, especially in his short story titled “The Masque of the Red Death”. In this story, Poe engenders a mood of uneasiness and dread through his use of a dark and mysterious tone. He used grim words such as “ghastly”, “shrouded”, and “brazen” to establish a fearful and suspenseful environment for the reader. His diction, imagery, syntax, and figures of speech all …show more content…
He described the setting meticulously and slowly “built up” the suspense as the story progressed. He consistently used long sentences occasionally followed by a burst of one or two short sentences. This helped to gradually increase the tension without exposing the direction of the story too quickly. The most evident literary devices were metaphor and personification. Poe did not use these extensively, but each time he did, they played a significant role in the description of the seventh apartment. When he said that the fire “projected its rays”, it suggested that the “fire” had the human ability to manipulate objects. Later, Poe said that the sound of the clock came from “brazen lungs”. This supported the harsh sound of clock which further increased the fear of the people. Each of these instances were examples of personification in the story. An important metaphor used towards the end of the passage said that at each sound of the clock, “the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused reverie.” This is implying that that the melodic, yet horrible, sound of the clock struck great fear and terror within everyone who heard it.

The mood that Poe created in “The Masque of the Red Death” was characterized by uneasiness and dread. The dark and mysterious tone that generated this atmosphere was aided by Poe’s grim diction, his haunting imagery, his elaborate syntax, and his simple, yet purposeful, figures of speech. This literary work truly demonstrated Edgar Allan Poe’s ability to control the reader’s emotions and create fear within him. The two simple aspects of literary writing, mood and tone, worked hand-in-hand to accomplish Poe’s goal to stir the reader’s mind with confusion, anxiety, and

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