Madness and Fear in Assignation, Cask of Admontillado, Fall of the House of Usher, and Masque of the Red Death Poe’s madmen are all obsessed with death. Existence within reality eventually becomes impossible. Poe usually places his madmen within a room or other enclosure, but they are rarely ever outside. When we do come across an exterior, nature does its best to repress, confine and enclose the man. The protagonist in Poe’s “The Assignation” sums up the combination of time and space within Poe’s stories and says, “I have … framed for myself … a bower of dreams.
The abbeys sense of confinement is threatening and everyone both inside and out had no capability to escape death from the plague. The sense of humorous irony is at hand as the Prince is bounded in the castle with the Red Death, the reason why he enclosed himself in the castle in the first place. With the full intention to create an ambiance of fear, Poe uses the scariest portrayal of death you could imagine at the opening to the story. P... ... middle of paper ... ...th the impression that Prospero represents Poe’s image of the artist who insists on creating an ideal artwork, but whom is permanently imprisoned by the time-bound nature of life. Poe emphasizes that the artistic effort to transform temporality into spatiality is condemned to failure.
Everyone fears their own death, thus why some people will do anything to escape it. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, this fear is experienced by all. In the story, a prince named Prospero and his people try to elude the Red Death through seclusion and isolation in the prince's abbey. However, no walls can stop death since it is unavoidable and inescapable. Throughout the story, Poe uses symbols such as the rooms, the masked figure, and the clock to convey the theme that no one can escape death.
Use of Contrasts in The Masque of the Red Death "There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dansers, there were musicians, there was beauty, there was wine. All these and security within. Without was the Red Death." (Poe, 209) In the short story, The Masque of the Red Death, Edgar Allen Poe uses the sanctity within the abbey walls to juxtapose the harshness and inescapable nature of the Red Death. The author uses the contrasts between the abbey and the Red Death to reveal the true character of Prince Prospero, to suggest the presence of the Red Death in the abbey, and to aide in the climax of events.
It is set during a carnival when a very unreliable narrator Montresor explains how he seeks to get revenge upon his enemy Fortunato, yet he never tells the audience what Fortunato has done to him. Montresor simply says, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge (165). The reason why Montresor is so important as a narrator is because it leaves it up to the audience to decide if Montresor had a reason to kill Fortunato or not. This story was much darker than The Masque of the Red Death, because it told a story of a murder, but the narrator Montresor try’s to convince the readers that he is the good guy. Poe focuses more on theme and characters in this story, Fortunato meaning “fortunate one” is a very ironic name because throughout the story Fortunato expects nothing he simply thinks he is going to try a special type of wine.
Also, in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, The Masque of the Red Death states, “With these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys” (390). The ruler of this territory invites his friends to an area completely deprived of the ‘Red Death” for they won’t suffer from the plague that has been spreading. He does this because he feels as if he leaves the problem alone then it’ll go away, but that is not the case. To continue with, Poe reveals, “And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all” (394). Running away from the problem has led them to the Red Death having endless control over all the people for they are unable to escape it.
Prince Prospero is ignoring how people are dying outside of the castle and by throwing a party, he is rubbing in the face of death that he is evading his fate, which he has not. The Red Death ultimately enters the castle and kills all the people proving that one cannot avoid death because death is un... ... middle of paper ... ...th is near. Edgar Allan Poe and Jack London both prove through arrogant protagonists that despite how hard one tries to avoid death, death is predestined. Poe is able to better demonstrate that death is inevitable than London because the plague that struck Prince Prospero’s town is undefeatable however the prince continues to protect himself from his eventual death. The man in “To Build a Fire” is always able to prevent death but he allows death to overpower him by not taking precautions that are able to save his life.
This story showed how Prince Prospero had to face up to the reality of the disease as did Poe about his wife. Through the illusion of security and mystery Poe creates a story based on what truly happened during outbreaks throughout history. Through the use of symbolism of a masked figure of death and the extravagance of the masquerade it truly shows the mystery of how plagues came to be and why. Even more importantly, it shows that no matter your social status or income, no one is safe from death.