Essay on Poe's The Masque (Mask) of the Red Death as Fantastic Genre

Essay on Poe's The Masque (Mask) of the Red Death as Fantastic Genre

Length: 833 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Mask of the Red Death as Fantastic Genre

    American author Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) wrote many poems and short stories back in the 1800s. Poe is said by some to have virtually created the detective story and perfected the psychological thriller. These works include "The Raven," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Fall of Usher House," and "The Mask of the Red Death" (April 30, 1842). In the fantasy short story Poe uses certain magical elements that are not accepted by the reader as being real. Because these magical elements are not accepted by the reader as being real this story is an example of the Fantastic genre and not a part of Magical Realism, because in Magical Realism they unreal is accepted as real by both the reader and the characters in the story.


In "The Mask of the Red Death," Edgar Allen Poe has the ability to evoke imagery and texualize the reader through the "extensive use of detail" (Faris 169). By doing so, I believe that Poe achieves textualization of the reader because we as human tend to use our imagination to help us see things that are there when they are described to us in great detail to us. By using this ability, it seems as though we are a part of the book and not just reading it. In the following passage, Poe describes the rooms that are in Prince Prospero's abbey:


The eastern extremity was huge, for example, in blue- and vividly blue

were its windows. The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and

tapestries, and here the panes were purple. The third was green

throughout, and so were the casements. The fourth was furnished

and litten with orange- the fifth with white- the sixth with violet. (483)


After barely describing the fifth ...

... middle of paper ... real by both the reader and the characters in the story, this story still remains an example of the Fantastic Literature and not a part of Magical Realism because unreal is not accepted by the reader as being real.


Works Cited

Faris, Wendy B. "Scheherazade's Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction." Magical Realism: History, Theory, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham, N.C. & London, England: Duke University Press, 1995. 163-189.

Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Mask of the Red Death." The Works of Edgar Allen Poe. Ann Arbor, MI: State Street Press. 482-487.

Simpkins, Scott. "Sources of Magical Realism/ Supplement to Realism in Latin American Fiction." Magical Realism: History, Theory, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham, N.C. & London, England: Duke University Press, 1995. 145-159.


Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Edgar Allan Poe 's The Red Death And The Cask Of Amontillado

- Edgar Allan Poe could be considered as the creator or the horror genre in literally with his chilling and twisted stories. Every story Poe wrote always has a deeper meaning than what is presented on the surface. Getting past the surface of the story Poe normally leaves similar meanings that he wants the audience to be presented in his stories. Poe’s main form of presenting this to his audience is through dark symbolism, imagery, and theme. All three of these elements are embedded in the layers of The Masque of the Red Death and The Cask of Amontillado....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado]

Better Essays
822 words (2.3 pages)

Edgar Allan Poe 's Influence On Writers Today Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19th 1809. Poe had a tough life lots of hard work and dedication went into everything he had achieved in his lifetime. Poe who was referred to as the American master of the macabre, he was also one of the earliest American practitioners and considered to the inventor of detective fiction genre. First well know American writer to earn a living through published writing. (Two Hundred Years of Edgar Allan Poe.) The techniques Poe used have a great impact on writers today....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story]

Better Essays
1305 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Edgar Allan Poe 's His Dark Short Stories

- Edgar Allan Poe’s inspiration for his dark short stories intrigued the world to know about the man behind “the mask” (The Mask of The Red Death, 1842). When Poe was only two years old, his talented actress of a mother, Elizabeth Poe, died of tuberculosis (May, 2007). Fortunately, the Allans of Richmond took him in as their own, but separated Poe from his brother Henry and sister Rosalie (Chronology of Edgar Allan Poe, 2010). Poe grew attached to his foster mother, Frances Allan, and Poe’s life began to lighten up until Mrs....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe]

Better Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)

Edgar Allan Poe 's Gothic Literature Essay

- Frightening occurrence, dark matters, and the macabre have intrigued human beings since the beginning of time. Gothic literature has been used throughout history to explain the unexplainable (Snodgrass “Gothic Literature” Par 1). These bloodcurdling, unnerving stories have continued to capture the interests of both readers and writers across the world. Stories of this genre contain atrocious crimes, terrifying monsters, dark settings, and satiric themes that writers of the time use to reflect their moods, cultures, and opinions on subjects that interest them....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher]

Better Essays
1925 words (5.5 pages)

Pre 1914 Gothic Horror Stories: Techniques Used in Writing The Tell Tale Heart and The Red Room

- The Tell Tale Heart and The Red Room are two short stories that share the genre of a gothic horror story. They are both based in the nineteenth century but the plots are very diverse from one another. The Tale Tell Heart tells the story of a man driven to insanity by his landlord’s eye whereas The Red Room is a story about an ignorant man whose disbelief in ghosts leads to him spending the entire night in a haunted room with ominous consequences. With both stories set pre 1914, the writers could expand upon their main ideas as the current time was one of huge conflict between religion and science....   [tags: the tell tale heart, the red room]

Better Essays
871 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Cask Of Amontillado, By Edgar Allan Poe And Young Goodman Brown

- Features that illustrate Gothic Fiction are terror, death, mystery, and darkness. “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne both contain elements of this genre. Symbols of evil and mystery are used differently throughout the stories to bring the readers attention to the themes. In contrast, the authors use different writing styles throughout their stories to illustrate their points. A comparison of these short stories by Poe and Hawthorne reveal their similar Gothic Fiction and the symbolism of evil and mystery, while the authors use different literary devices to set the mood....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Better Essays
1487 words (4.2 pages)

Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart Essay

- A Tell-Tale Spirit In 1843, author Edgar Allan Poe crafted a haunting story about a man who commits murder because he finds an old mans’ pale eye unsettling. This story, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, is one of many masterfully written stories crafted by the gifted writer. Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19th, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts but was orphaned at the young age of three. His foster parents surrounded him with material comfort in the city of Richmond, Virginia. As a youth, Poe excelled academically while attending affluent boarding schools and was later accepted to the University of Virginia....   [tags: macabre genre, literary analysis]

Better Essays
1191 words (3.4 pages)

The Politics of Poe Essay

- The Politics of Poe Edgar Allen Poe is known as the pioneer of the American short story, as well as a brilliant artist in poetry. His works are often tragic, or have a dark theme. Two often overlooked facets of Poe as a writer, however, are the political aspect of his works, and how far ahead he was of his time, with some material being applicable to present day situations, as exemplified by Sonnet to Science, The City in the Sea, and The Masque of the Red Death. The City in the Sea tells of a great city, with “…shrines and palaces and towers… [which] …resemble nothing that is ours” (6-8)....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

Death Of The Red Death By Edgar Allen Poe Essay

- The idea of death is a thought the scares many, from those who have lived the course of their life to those who are just merely starting it. With the fear that consumes each person comes the will to try and escape the long claws of death, though no matter whom one is, death is inevitable. The short story, “Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe, gives the theme that no one is capable of escaping death through the use of plot, symbolism, and narration. The story takes place during the dark ages where a bubonic plague, which causes sharp pains, sudden dizziness, and profuse bleeding at the pores, was claiming many lives....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death]

Better Essays
1547 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about The Ghastly Writings of Poe

- The Ghastly Writings of Poe Edgar Allen Poe makes tales of imagination and fantasies the irrefutable realms of fear. His tales and poems “have influenced the literary schools of symbolism…as well as the popular genres of detective and horror fiction (Stern xxxviii). However, as many of Poe’s tales and poems conjure terror and trepidation, they also penetrate the imagination with fantasy. Poe repeatedly attempts and succeeds at making his readers endure analogous feelings as those characters in his works....   [tags: essays papers]

Better Essays
1467 words (4.2 pages)