Parallelism between Death and Evil

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“The Masque of the Red Death” is a story written by Edgar Alan Poe. He is a writer who centered his writing career on fiction and macabre stories (Digital). “The Masque of the Red Death” is one of those stories. Poe’s Romantic ideology uses the seven chambers as a symbol of death and evil to apply the Still Life “Vanitas” genre and use it as the focus not only for the setting of the story, but also to teach the reader how an individual with a power position can forget morality by getting attached to frivolous pleasures, and material possessions, resulting in wickedness. Poe also reminds the reader about the fragility of human’s life, by using the plague brought for the Red Death. Both death and evil bring devastation to people’s lives, and no one can escape to their force.
Poe uses his knowledge of the Romantic movement ideas to represent Death and Evil. The author uses Still Life, Vanitas art as his inspiration to create the style of the story. First the reader need to know about Vanitas is, “Art with a fascinating genre that features objects rich in morbid symbolism such as skulls…elaborate pictorial messages with moral undertones that urge the viewer to relinquish earthly pleasures and pursue a meaningful spiritual life” (Vanitas). Poe uses Vanitas Art to describe how people forget their spiritual side for money and possessions that not only bring evil, but also decay with the pass of the time. Some of the objects found in a Vanitas art are the clock that is a representation of time passing; rot fruit or flowers that symbolizing the decadency of our body, and gold that represents the material things in which we spend almost all our existence working and forgetting that all comes to an end, even our lives. In addition, a skull ...

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... to pay with the inevitable death.
Poe was able to portray the parallelism of death and evil in his story by providing the reader a feeling of horror and death and the concealing of plague into a physical appearance, making Prince Prospero and his friends tremble of despair to remind them that evil brought by selfishness, avarice, and inhumanity do not bring any positive effect, that not even their power, will save them from dying. The romantic influence from the Vanitas genre demonstrates how the mundane pleasures of our existence weakens our soul by letting evil enter into our lives as a villain without us being aware. The same issue will happen with death, because it does not matter how much an individual tries to prevent it, and how much a person evade danger, death is going to come and our clock is going to stop ticking as it happened at the end of Poe’s story.
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