Death is Inevitable: How “ The Masque of the Red Death ” Illustrates the Inevitability of Death. “ The Masque of the Red Death, ” written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1845, displays a certain subject about the irrevocability of decease. The narrative follows Prince Prospero as he tries to utilize his wealth and power to evade a deathly pestilence by concealing off in an abbey with a 1000 other invitees ; nevertheless, Death is the vanquisher of this narrative as the narrative concludes with the decease of Prince Prospero and all of the invitees. In “ The Masque of the Red Death, ” Poe describes a subject that decease is ineluctable as can be seen in the storyteller, the sarcasm of the secret plan itself, and the huge sum of symbolism in the narrative.
The storyteller adds to the subject of the narrative because the storyteller in “ The Masque of the Red Death ” is Death itself because of the incompatibilities planted by the writer in individual, tense, and chronology throughout the narrative. The beginning of “ The Masque of the Red Death ” is written in 3rd individual ; yet, in three topographic points in the narrative, the narrative is in first-person, proposing that the narrative is really a storyteller, a character in the narrative. The following beginning of grounds is the difference in tense in the narrative. In the narrative, the tense of the narrative displacements from past to show. The significance of the tense displacement suggests non merely that the storyteller was present during the events of the narrative but besides that the storyteller survived the event in order to state the narrative. The 3rd piece of grounds alludes to the thought of Death as the storyteller is in the chronology of the narrative. The narrative is evidently written during the clip of feudal system and aristocracy ; nevertheless, in the narrative, the storyteller mentions Hernani, a 19th century work by writer Victor Hugo. By utilizing this mention, Poe is stating that the storyteller was non merely present at this event, perchance in the Middle Ages but besides lived through the 19th century. The clip difference placed by Poe spans 100s of old ages, touching to the thought that the storyteller must be person or something that has existed 100s of old ages. Because Poe creates incompatibilities that do non adhere to a individual type of storyteller or narrative, Death itself becomes a really plausible pick for the storyteller. The fact that Death is the storyteller of the narrative merely builds up and intensifies the overall subject of the narrative that decease is ineluctable.
Since Death is a plausible the storyteller of the secret plan, the following subscriber to the overall subject of the narrative is the sense of sarcasm found in the secret plan of the narrative. In the narrative, Prospero has a rubric of aristocracy ; nevertheless when word of the Red Death comes, Prospero flees, go forthing the outside universe to “ take attention of itself ” ( 231 ) . Prospero is irresponsible in the eyes of the reader, because he does non care about any of the topics underneath him but considers his ain life and the lives of his friends to be indispensable. The sarcasm of the secret plan is seen in the condescension of Prince Prospero because he genuinely believes that his wealth and place in the universe will let to get away decease. The sarcasm of the narrative is rooted in this thought that decease can be cheated because of money and power Throughout the class of the narrative, the Prince holds to this thought that he is above decease ; nevertheless, in the terminal of the narrative, allegorically, Death overcomes. The irresponsibleness of Prospero becomes dry because locking themselves in this monolithic abbey in an effort to get away the disease is what seals their destiny in the terminal of the narrative. The abbey as described by the writer, “ A strong and exalted wall girdled it in. This wall had Gatess of Fe. The courtiers, holding entered, brought furnaces and massy cocks and welded the bolts. They resolved to go forth agencies neither of immersion nor egressaˆ¦ ” ( 231 ) . When Death comes for them at the terminal of the narrative, it is by their ain making that they are trapped in this monolithic abbey, their lone pick, to eventually accept the call of Death.
While the function of the storyteller and the sarcasm found in the secret plan attention deficit disorder to the subject, the chief subscriber to the subject of “ The Masque of the Red Death ” is the multiple histories of symbolism given in the narrative. The symbolism of the narrative is largely seen in two elements of the narrative: the decor of the abbey and the coal black clock. The decor of the abbey is described for the reader in much item, for a ground. The abbey is set up of seven suites from E to West and are arranged in a colour form of blue, purple, green, orange, white, violet, and the last room is black. The different colourss of the suites are symbolic of the human life rhythm. The colourss can be “ read ” from east to west because the E is symbolic of get downing while the West is symbolic of stoping, like the rhythm of the Sun. The bluish represents birth, the beginning. The purple can be viewed as development because the beginning ( bluish ) has been mixed with life ( ruddy ) . The green suggests life every bit good, but more in the sense of growing or young person. The orange represents the extremum of life, when the Sun is at its highest. The white alludes to the thought of aging. Violet is much darker than the other colourss, because it represents the slow decay of life. Finally, the black room represents decease. Throughout the narrative, the invitees ne’er enter into the black room because they fear decease. The symbolism of the colourss of the room is besides found in the flood tide of the narrative. Prince Prospero chases ruddy decease from the bluish room and stoping with his decease in the black room, stand foring the stoping of a life. The invitees all run into the black room to uncloak ruddy decease, and they all die. Besides in the black room, the large coal black clock is found. The large coal black clock is besides a symbol associated with decease. However, the clock does non intend decease straight. The clock represents the thought that even though the invitees are “ rip offing ” decease clip still goes on. Time does non halt for the invitees, and the invitees know that they excessively will decease no affair what they do. This idea is represented in the narrative because every clip the coal black clock bells signaling the hr, all the invitees stop their gallivanting and partying and go soundless, as if frozen. The coal black clock is a changeless reminder to the invitees of the Prince that they will non get the better of decease, but merely that their life has one less hr. The symbolism of the coal black clock and the decor of the abbey are a major subscriber to the thought that decease is ineluctable.
Edgar Allan Poe uses his command of composing to convey the thought that Death is grim in “ The Masque of the Red Death. ” This cardinal overall subject that decease is ineluctable can be seen in the storyteller, Death itself, in the dry nature of the secret plan, and most blatantly in the huge sum of symbolism scattered throughout the narrative. Death is inevitable for everyone: no sum of money or power can change this natural order.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “ The Masque of the Red Death. ” Introduction to Literature. 1st erectile dysfunction. Boston: Pearson, 2011. 231-6. Print.