The Masque Of Red Death Analysis

Great Essays
Many will speak of Edgar Allen Poe, and call him a madman, a necromaniac, and that he had to have been suffering from some sort of mental illness to write the things that he did. In actuality, Poe was an author who crafted beautiful, thought provoking stories about the simple reality of life and death. This can be proven true through several of Poe’s works, including “The Black Cat”, “The Premature Burial”, and several others. Edgar Allen Poe did have an obsession with death, but he shared this obsession in an extremely profound and interesting way so that his readers were intrigued by these concepts as well. The tone, imagery, symbolism, repetition, and personification in many of Poe’s stories confirm his understanding and interest of the …show more content…
Poe did this through both his descriptions of the different rooms and also through the people’s reactions to the events at hand. He used the gothic literature technique of creating a feeling of uneasiness and unfamiliarity. The drastic contrast between the colorful rooms and the black and “blood red” room was Poe’s intentional choice to make a deathly tone (Poe, “Masque of Red Death”). The people in the story reacting to this difference in such an extreme way are also telling. Poe creates anxious and fearful characters as a way to make the text itself fearful. Throughout the story, there is a sense of anticipation. Several times in the story, Poe speaks of how this dance invoked people’s hopes and dreams, saying, “And these -- the dreams -- writhed in and about, taking hue from the rooms, and causing the wild music of the orchestra to seem as the echo of their steps. And, anon, there strikes the ebony clock which stands in the hall of the velvet. And then, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock. The dreams are stiff-frozen as they stand.” (Poe, “Masque of Red Death”). Each time the clock chimes, and time passes, the guests’ anxiety worsens, as they feel their dreams growing more and more unattainable. This anticipative tone mentioned above is the cause of Poe creating a group of people anticipating their inevitable death they so desperately hoped to …show more content…
The main piece of personification is found at the beginning of the story. Poe does allude to the reader that the house of Usher and the family ancestry of Usher are connected, and he does so through personifying the house as if it was a person. The narrator of the story describes himself as looking, “upon the scene before me-upon the mere house...upon the bleak walls-upon the vacant eye-like windows…” (Poe, “Usher”). Using the word choice of eye-like makes readers instantly think of a face, and the description itself makes this face a gloomy one. The narrator also adds to this personification by describing that, “Perhaps the eye of scrutinizing observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn.” (Poe, “Usher”). This describes a barely noticeable feature about the house, but it is extremely significant. If the foundation of a house is cracked, the house cannot survive. Similarly, the Usher family has cracks in their foundation, for they struggled with many illnesses and tragedies all their lives. Poe was foreshadowing the fall of both this house and this family by creating the smallest, but most important, imperfections in both of them. Poe believed that death was destined; inevitable, and he

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