Mask of the Red Death Analysis

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“Masque of the Red Death” Analysis

With money you can do a lot, people with lots of money tend to wind up with lots of power or fame. Money can buy a lot of things, but longevity is not one of them. The theme of ‘Masque of the red death’ was “no amount of money will enable you to cheat death”. The author conveyed this by giving an example of a unique situation where a wealthy person tries to cheat death, but ends up dying anyways. He gives us the theme with three different literary techniques: Symbolism, Point of view and Irony.

Edgar Allen Poe (the author) uses symbolism in his attempt to tell us the theme of the story. He uses four main symbols: The prince, the red death, each of the rooms of the house, and the clock of ebony. The prince represented man, and interestingly enough his name (Prospero) sounds remarkably like ‘prosperous’. Put these facts together, he was a wealthy man, but all of mankind does applies to his character. The red death symbolized death, the clock is the universal symbol for time, and each of the colorful rooms represented a different stage of man’s life. When the red death occurs, the Prince locks him and his friends away in his palace where they would supposedly stay safe. When the clock struck twelve, the Red death manifests itself as a masked man, and Prospero, in his fury, rushes across the rooms at it. “through the blue chamber to the purple -- through the purple to the green -- through the green to the orange -- through this again to the white -- and even thence to the violet” (Poe) Put all these facts together, and it creates a short story of a man, who lived life as we lived ours, and when his time came, he died. A simple story of one’s life. Now how does this explain the theme? it was the manner in what he did. He tried to murder death, Prospero murdering death, or kill off death with money you could say. But he died anyways, hence the ‘no amount of money can bribe death’.

The author used point of view in his story to...
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