The Cask Of Amontillado, And The Masque Of The Red Death

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Edgar Allan Poe had a particularly rough childhood. His mother, foster mother, and wife all died from tuberculosis. This seemed to have a lasting impact on his mental health, for he refers to this in many of his writings. In addition to this, his father abandoned him, and his foster father disliked him to the point where he cut off all access to money for Poe. His troubled home life resulted in immense amounts of emotional destruction. This gave him a dim outlook on life, which helped to create the unique writing style that Poe showcased throughout all of his writings. He died at the age of forty, and in that time he wrote a staggering seventy poems and sixty-six short stories. A few of these notorious writings would include “The Masque of …show more content…
This led him to make references to these experiences in “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, and “The Masque of the Red Death”. Poe continuously refers to the awful disease that took so many of his loved ones’ lives. In the short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Poe refers to disease in saying that Roderick Usher had a “mental illness which oppressed him”. This would mean that the ailment consumed his life. He also characterizes Madeline’s illness as “a settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and frequent although transient affections of a partly cataleptical character”. This shows that Poe is obviously referring to disease. The quote also means that her disease in particular causes her to be weak, distant, and overall removed from reality. This could be compared to how distant Poe was to his biological family. In “The Masque of the Red Death”, Poe describes the red death as causing “sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.” The red death is displayed as being a lot more extreme than the illnesses in “The Fall of the House of Usher”, though both diseases are equally as devastating. Poe uses “the red death” to symbolize tuberculosis in that the red death was a disease that “had long devastated the country”. Poe was devastated on multiple occasions because of loss in his family due to tuberculosis. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, Fortunato had an appalling cough that seemed to consume him, and affected the people around him. Tuberculosis is primarily a disease of the lungs. In the short story it says “the cough’s a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.” This shows that Poe wanted to use irony to relate to the fact that one of the symptoms of tuberculosis would be terrible coughing; and tuberculosis did in fact kill

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