Literary Analysis of “The Masque of the Red Death”
In the story, The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, the author tries to create a specific atmosphere to emphasize the action within the story. The setting of the story immensely helps to create this atmosphere. Poe’s descriptive setting aids in creating the atmosphere of the story by developing mood, evoking feelings from the reader, and creating a false sense of security.
The setting of The Masque, which Poe effectively and thoroughly illustrates, helps to create a desired atmosphere by developing the mood of the story. Poe describes the masque as “a gay and magnificent revel” in which “the prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure.” This creates a joyous and blissful mood, and shows that the masque, for the most part, was a rather jubilant occasion. However, Poe also illustrates how a gigantic ebony clock, located in the westernmost apartment of the abbey, causes “the giddiest to grow pale” with the sound of a loud, deep, and rather peculiar note when the clock strikes each hour. The “uneasy cessation of all things” resulting from the sound of the clock creates an unpleasant and apprehensive mood, directly opposite from the joyful mood described earlier. These descriptive settings of the clock and the rest of the masque are what assists in creating a desired atmosphere throughout the story.
Another key element of how the setting affects the at...
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