Stereotypes In The Masque Of The Red Death

Good Essays
Beneficial Aspects of Unmasking Different Views “No pestilence had ever been so fatal.” A line from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death introduces the story of how the past caught up with an ignorant ruler. The short tale presents the revelers’ lasting, stagnant, and incorrect assumption that they could evade imminent death. For that reason, one’s distinct opinion is helpful for maintaining their trust in an idea, learning from their own and others views, and coming to a single consensus based on those differences. Sustaining hope in others and in oneself, differing beliefs are beneficial. Deborah’s real intentions were disputed between the main protagonist and her father. Initially, he tells Lily that Deborah was attempting to…show more content…
Initially, Lily deduced that Rosaleen was a prime example of how all African-Americans were—uncultured and not possibly as smart as Lily, being light-skinned. She discovers later on that this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. The Boatwright sisters (especially August) is described as intelligent, special, and thoughtful which contradicts Lily’s earlier belief (Kidd, 2001). From this, Lily identifies her own prejudice about different races’ capabilities, and she forms her own opinions in place of society’s disdain and bias against the other race. Although people may feel that their opinion is concrete and that differing opinions would be unnecessary, opinions can easily be influenced by experiences over time. Her views shift for the better throughout the novel. By the end, she feels lovingly at home with the Boatwrights and persuades T. Ray to let her stay with them. This benefited Lily in particular since she received the motherly love she’d been longing for, supporting that differing views are helpful when trying to learn about others. Additionally, as the grandfather clock in The Masque of the Red Death strikes, marking each hour closer to the guests’ demise, a wave of uneasiness passes over them as they become more and more mindful of their end. But during those few hours, they expressed their freedom through grotesque costumes (Poe, 1842). Sometime…show more content…
Some may argue that differing views provoke hostility between groups rather than promote camaraderie, but different beliefs can bring new outlooks on a subject and thus compel people to get along. June and Lily’s distaste for each other is obvious from the beginning. June concludes that Lily was a carbon copy of Deborah, whom she had disliked for other reasons. Lily strained to listen as June and August discussed this. The younger sister stressed that the girl couldn’t stay with them just because she was white. It had always been the other way around—the white man accusing the black man—so this new insult was shocking to Lily. But over the weeks, they learn to work together rather than resent each other (Kidd, 2001). This mutual respect was possible because they learned to push past their differences—as cliché as that may sound—and see each other as human beings instead of ethnic labels. When they engaged in a water fight, they laughed together just like any regular friends would, and that prompted them to realize that they were more alike than what first meets the eye. Now, whenever they work together on honey collection and beeswax, they are sincerely happier. Lastly, in Poe’s short story, the revelers have different ideas about the masked figure (Poe, 1842). Some guests are wary of the guest, they think he may have the plague, judging from his horrendous Red Death face mask.
Get Access