The Masque (Mask) of the Red D, William Wilson, Tale of the Ragged Mountains, and House of Ush

The Masque (Mask) of the Red D, William Wilson, Tale of the Ragged Mountains, and House of Ush

Length: 1574 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Landscape in Masque of the Red Death, William Wilson, Tale of the Ragged Mountains, and House of Usher


A careful reading of Poe’s tales will quickly reveal the importance that landscape plays in the development of each literary work.  "Ragged Mountains" has both a surreal and realistic landscape allowing Poe to use both the mental and the physical environment to explain his tale.  This technique is also found in "The Fall of the House of Usher," "William Wilson," and "The Masque of the Red Death."  In these tales too the reader may tend to focus on the action at hand, and the psychological details, because that is what we are prone to do with Poe stories.  However, it is also important to understand that physical landscape as well.  As Daniel Philippon states in his article "Poe in the Ragged Mountains": "Any search for a whole universe of suggestion must be held in check by the realities of the landscape in which it occurs."

 In "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains," it is pretty obvious that the landscape is going to play an important part in the story - we are given the setting right in the title.  However, a majority of the story actually takes place in an "Orientalized" locale that has been transposed into the Ragged Mountains.  This alone is a great juxtaposition: the title describes what seems to be a run-down, unappealing landscape, while the real action takes place in fantastical setting.  But why is the landscape so important if the psychological aspect is what Poe is trying to focus on?  Most likely it is because the landscape gives us clues about what is actually happening in the minds of the characters, and hints at things that make the story clearer.  For example, Bedloe starts his tale by describing "the thic...


... middle of paper ...


...dscape as well as a physical one, his pieces pack a more powerful punch, and always allow the reader to find hints about what is really going on at a deeper level.  Since much of Poe's 'action' is psychological, the landscape is an element of the story that can't be ignored, and should not.

Works Cited:

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of the Red Death." The American Tradition in Literature. Ed. George Perkins and Barbara Perkins. 9th ed. vol. 1. New York: McGraw, 1998.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains" [1843]; in Poe, ed. Harold Beaver. The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "William Wilson." Selected Poetry and Prose of Poe. Ed. T. O. Mabbott. New York: Modern Library, 1951.

Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Fall of the House of Usher". R.V.Cassill, ed. The Norton Fiction. New York, London, 1995.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Importance of Landscape in A Tale of the Ragged Mountains

- The Importance of Landscape in A Tale of the Ragged Mountains In his article, Philippon begins by discussing the importance that the landscape plays in "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains." First, he quotes William Carlos Williams as saying that Poe was "intimately shaped by his locality and time," although he tends to focus on the "soul" of his surroundings, rather than the physical aspects. Philippon then goes on to say that he believes that Poe does, in fact, use the physical landscape in this particular story in order to highlight the differences between the make-believe environment of the Indian landscape of the story and that of the Ragged Mountains....   [tags: A Tale of the Ragged Mountains]

Powerful Essays
696 words (2 pages)

The Occult in A Tale of the Ragged Mountains Essay

- The Occult in A Tale of the Ragged Mountains In his collection of criticism on Poe's stories, Thompson discusses the use of the occult in "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains." He begins the article by explaining that this story might be the product of Poe's "fascination with, but detached attitudes toward, the pseudoscientific occultism of his age." He gives us some technical terms for the techniques that Poe uses in this story: "metempsychosis" is the transmigration of souls, and is the word that surfaces frequently throughout this discussion of "Ragged Mountains." First Thompson discusses the idea that Poe set up the tale in a very specific way; as he puts it, "Poe himself wove a web...   [tags: Ragged]

Powerful Essays
586 words (1.7 pages)

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder Essay

- There are people existing among us with a special trait or characteristic that makes them stand out above the masses. They are “heroes” in a sense, who perform great acts of sacrifice and promote hope when it seems that the last drop of faith has evaporated from one’s soul. These individuals remind us of saints who walked before us, healing and caring for the sick and destitute when no other man dared. Author, Tracy Kidder (2004), brings to the forefront the noble deeds of a modern day saint, Paul Farmer, through his writing in Mountains Beyond Mountains....   [tags: Mountains Beyond Mountains Essays]

Powerful Essays
2613 words (7.5 pages)

The American Dream in Ragged Dick, by Horatio Alger Essay

- According to Ty Kiisel, writer for Forbes magazine, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” (Kiisel). In the book Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Alger portrays a young New York boot black in the 1860s. Dick rises to become the embodiment of the American Dream through, as Kiisel notes, who he knows. Ragged Dick builds many relationships with upper-class men, fellow boot blacks, and even builds connections within himself, all while keeping his morality in check. The relationships that Ragged Dick forms are what make him achieve the American Dream....   [tags: Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger]

Powerful Essays
924 words (2.6 pages)

A Close Reading of Ragged Dick Essay examples

- A Close Reading of Ragged Dick There were no houses of good appearance near it, buildings being limited mainly to rude temporary huts used by workmen who were employed in improving it. The time will undoubtedly come when the Park will be surrounded by elegant residences, and compare favorably in this respect with the most attractive city in the world. But at the time when Frank and Dick visited it, not much could be said in favor of either the Park or its neighborhood. "If this is Central Park," said Frank, who naturally felt disappointed, "I don't think much of it....   [tags: Ragged Dick Essays]

Free Essays
424 words (1.2 pages)

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Essay

- Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Ragged Dick is a novel written in the 1800’s by Horatio Alger. It is a story about a young boy named Richard Hunter, also known as Ragged Dick, as he progresses though his childhood. Ragged Dick is a typical Rags to Riches story where Dick struggles through the hardships of city life, trying to achieve the “American Dream”. As a child, Dick is nothing more than a poor city boy who is trying to earn money on the streets of New York City. He spends his time shining shoes for working men, making only about ten cents a pair....   [tags: Ragged Dick Horatio Alger]

Free Essays
657 words (1.9 pages)

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tale of the Ragged Mountains and Lovecraft’s The Outsider

- Edgar Allan Poe’s Tale of the Ragged Mountains and Lovecraft’s The Outsider Both Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft were known for their tales of horror, shocking discoveries and mysterious characters. Lovecraft was known to have mimicked Poe’s style in his popular horror stories of the early 20th century. Poe, one of the most famous writers of short stories and poems in the 19th century, amazed readers with his rich descriptions and chilling plots. Neither disappoint in two of their stories: Poe’s “Tale of the Ragged Mountains” and Lovecraft’s “The Outsider.” Although these are not the most famous of each authors’ works, scholars often debate over the meaning and themes of e...   [tags: Lovecraft Outsider Essays]

Powerful Essays
1520 words (4.3 pages)

Analysis Of ' Mountains Beyond Mountains ' Essay

- In Tracy Kidder’s, Mountains Beyond Mountains, chapter five and six go in depth in explaining Paul Farmer’s childhood and adolescence. Farmer had an unconventional childhood. His family didn 't live in fancy houses and drive fancy cars, but instead they lived on bus and a boat. That didn 't stop Farmer from excelling through high school, college, and his career. My relationship with my mom has influenced me to play sports, study engineering, and take on multiple task in life. Farmer’s relationship with his father was similar to my relationship with my mother because of her desire to make me a competitive and hard worker....   [tags: Family, Mother, Father, Latin honors]

Powerful Essays
1093 words (3.1 pages)

Degradation of Appalachian Mountains Essay examples

- The 205-thousand-square-mile Appalachian Mountain range, which spans from Eastern Canada to northern Alabama, boasts North America’s oldest mountains (formed approximately 400 million years ago), the highest peak of the eastern United States (Mount Mitchell), industrial production opportunities and leisurely recreation. The range includes the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky mountains (NCSU, n.d.). A range of recreational activities such as fishing in freshwater streams, camping, biking the Blue Ridge Parkway, skiing and hiking are available in the region....   [tags: clean air act, mountains, mining industry]

Powerful Essays
1825 words (5.2 pages)

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

- Mountains Beyond Mountains Essay Paul Farmer was a kind, devoted doctor who sacrificed his life to help those in need in Haiti. His work involved curing sick people from tuberculosis (TB), making sure the disease did not spread, and making the towns in Haiti a better, cleaner place to live in. There were and still are many social injustices that Haiti is still struggling with today. For example, they have TB outbreaks because there’s no healthcare in the country for the poor. This has increased the outbreak of TB and many other diseases....   [tags: Mountains Beyond Book Review]

Powerful Essays
953 words (2.7 pages)