Comparing House Of Usher, Masque Of The Red Death, And The Raven

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Richard Wilbur has said that Edgar Allen Poe’s stories are “an allegory of dream experience: it occurs within the mind of a poet; the characters are not distinct personalities, but principles or faculties of the poet’s divided nature; the steps of the action correspond to the successive states of a mind moving into sleep; and the end of the action is the end of a dream.” Three of Poe’s stories, Fall of the House of Usher, Masque of the Red Death, and The Raven prove that Wilbur’s statement is true. These three stories relate because they all share an aspect of death, which is what the states of mind moving into sleep and the end of the action being the end of a dream that Richard Wilbur describes is. Fall of the House of Usher relates to death…show more content…
The word death is in the title of the story. There is still a similar situation to the one in Fall of the House of Usher here. By the end of the Masque of the Red Death, the narrator says that “Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all”(180) The Red Death has taken the final steps needed to destroy all of the Prince’s kingdom. The final step here is the Red Death himself entering the party and killing everyone with the disease. The first step is starting to destroy the kingdom outside the castle. Each of the successive steps are the spreading of the raging pestilence. The minds that are moving into sleep is a bit different than Fall of the House of Usher. In Usher, the sleeping minds are the siblings and their house. The steps there are made by nature. In Red Death, it is presumably everyone in the entire kingdom, but not any structures. The steps here are made by a disease that has taken a visible physical form. Nonetheless, they both connect in the same idea. The Masque of the Red Death also shows how Wilbur’s comment is true about Poe’s…show more content…
The mentioned early relation to death is one the first page of the story when narrator states “And the only word there spoken was the whispered word. ‘Lenore!’ This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word ‘Lenore!’ Merely this and nothing more.”(Lines 28-30). It is implied here that the main character knew someone by the name of Lenore. The narrator’s relation with this Lenore isn’t stated, but Lenore might be a beloved family member or close friend. No matter what their relation is, it is clear that the narrator misses Lenore. This fact sets the stage for the rest of the plot where the story’s relation to Wilbur’s comment is shown. This relation, however, has an extra part thrown into the mix. The end of the story doesn’t signify the reaching of the final step, but rather the end of the plot is more like maybe the second to last step, which is the narrator’s insanity. While it can’t be directly proven, it is possible that the narrator’s insanity would eventually lead to his/her death. Anyways, the first step is Lenore’s death, because that is what sets up the incoming insanity. The succeeding steps are the narrator’s chat with the raven sitting in his window sill. When the narrator’s“soul from out that window that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted-Nevermore!”(Lines 107-108), the character is successfully reached
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