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What Does The Clock Symbolize In The Masque Of The Red Death

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What symbolizes death? Symbolism is a way in which people can hide their true thoughts with another image or words as a distraction. The story "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe contains an immense amount of symbolism throughout the entire story, including the clock, the masquerade party, and the masked figure. This story in its entirety can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning or lesson. Poe's story speaks of party guests hiding from a disease thought to be the plague, and the whole time, they are partying and trying to cheat death. Little do they know, cheating death is not possible. One of the most notable pieces of symbolism in this story is the clock. The clock, located in the last room, is portrayed as a show stopper. Every hour, the clock chimes, bringing the palace to outright silence. Poe describes the clock as a show stopper when he states: but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of the hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to hearken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions: and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock…show more content…
Poe's symbolism is shown in the clock, a symbol of our life passing by, the masquerade, a symbol of distraction, and the masked figure, a symbol of the death we cannot hide from. The story teaches us that cheating death is not something we can do even if you hide from it or ignore it for death will find everybody taking the only life we have. Poe provides excellent forms of symbolism to depict his hidden meanings, making the reader consider what he is describing. Poe's tells a story pointing out that cheating death is impossible no matter the measures you take to prevent
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