Edgar Allan Poe's Use Of Suspense And Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death

661 words - 3 pages

Suspense is the feeling of uncertainty or excitement, in waiting for an outcome or decision. Edgar Allan Poe uses suspense in his story “Masque of the Red Death” by using objects and great descriptive detail. Poe’s story is about a prince that tries to escape from the inevitable. He tries to lock himself away from the ‘red death’ and has a masquerade ball that doesn’t end happily. Prince and all of his guests die inside or around the seventh apartment room. The seventh room is preceded by six colored rooms which are meant to symbolize either the stages of life, or the seven sins. Inside the last room there are black velvet tapestries that hang all over the ceiling and down the walls. The window panes are a deep blood red color which gives the room an unwelcoming atmosphere. On the western wall, there is a gigantic clock of a deep black wood. Inside it has a pendulum that swings back and forth with a dull monotonous clang. When the minute hand marks a new hour, there is a clear, loud, deep sound, which can be heard from far away. Although it can give off an eerie feeling, the great ebony clock has many significant meanings to it.
First of all, in both real life and the story, the clocks represent that time is a valuable thing and it shouldn’t be wasted. In real life, clocks help everyone keep track of time and keep lives as orderly and organized as possible. They remind people where to be and when. In the story, it is more of a burden to hear the clock each hour; every guest in the story realizes what the clock means and become afraid. In a way, clocks also have the ability to tell people about their fate. With each second, minute, and hour that passes it reminds everyone that we are that much closer to the end. It infers that people are closer to their fate, pessimistically speaking. In both the story and real life,...

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