"The Masque Of The Red Death" By Edgar Allen Poe.

1166 words - 5 pages

"The Masque of the Red Death", a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, is truly a frightening story that includes many symbols dealing with life and death. Each symbol gives a great deal of significance to the story and helps to enhance the lesson being taught. Symbolism found in the story is the ebony clock, the fact that the rooms represent the life cycle, and the black room alone.The ebony clock, hid in the dark forsaken, western room of black velvet and scarlet portholes that allow one to gape amid the outside world, represents life and demise. The chiming of this timepiece corresponds to life. "It's pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang.... and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company..." Each musical resonance is time passed by and this terrifies the guests because each one is vexed by the fact that they could possibly depart this existence. Following each chime comes a great stillness in the room. The echo vibrates the house as if it was and earthquake and the people within the house tremble with fear. It's as if these visitors are awaiting death. With each peal, their dreams recess until the last melodic tone is made. The minuet and the hour hand could possibly represent Price Prospero and the veiled figure, which in this story is the Red Death. At the end of the story, the masked figure was said to have been standing "...erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock..." at about twelve o' clock. As the Prince approached this shrouded figure, he fell to his death and life ended with its age and process. The ebony clock gives meaning to the story because the story is dealing with life and death. The clock signifies the process of existence and death. Each chime symbolizes one more hour of subsistence surpassed. The clock is one of the most important items focused on upon reading this short tale. The clock also assists one to recognize the theme, one cannot wait for death, one must not be troubled by life, and one cannot buy their way out of death.There are seven different rooms in this house, all bedecked in seven diverse colors. The rooms initiate in the east, and end in the west. "At the eastern extremity was hung, for example, in blue - and vividly blue were its windows. The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple.... within the seventh apartment... the color of the windows failed to correspond with the room..." The east room, the blue room so enriched with light and life, is the first one may see and the west room, the black room so darkened with evil and death, is the last one may perceive. In between these two rooms are five more rooms whose colors are as followed: purple, green, orange, white, and violet. These seven rooms represent the life cycle. The blue room, lying in the far east, is birth and the black room, lying in the far west, is death. Each room amid the different rooms symbolizes a step in life. One may notice that the...

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