Symbols In Masque Of The Red Death By Edgar Allen Poe

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In Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe, many symbols are used to justify the overall purpose and meaning of the story. These symbols include the ebony clock, the seven chambers, the scarlet and black room, and the Red Death itself. Each of these symbols help characterize the Prince and his guests, along with foreshadowing the overall outcome of the story. First of all, the seventh chamber and ebony clock not only provide a sense of eeriness, but reveal the underlying personalities and outcomes of the characters. For example, Zapf writes, “In the process of the story, of course, the seventh chamber more and more becomes the center of attention, and with it the clock of ebony which symbolizes the structure of temporality underlying and terminating all human …show more content…

To explain, Zapf writes, “In a parodistic reversal of the Biblical Act of Creation, the seven differently colored rooms, which are arranged from East to West, and in which the masque takes place, are composed in the form of a symbolic teleology of human life which leads from the color blue to the color black, from light to darkness, from creation to destruction.” Zapf realizes that the order and rooms represent human life itself. From rooms blue to black, light to dark, creation to death; this is the course of human life and the outcome of the people at the party. From carefree partiers to dead in the night, the perpetual tick of the clock to the stroke of the hour, rooms light to dark, blue to black, creation to death— each of these things are different yet one in the same. Poe puts the clock and the seven chambers in the story to disseminate piece by piece the overall purpose and theme. Along with this, the symbols reveal how they reflect on the people themselves. Poe’s themes of humans cannot control death, creation to death, and anticipation are epitomized through the ebony clock and the seven

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