The Masque (Mask) of the Red D, William Wilson, Tale of the Ragged Mountains, and House of Ush
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Landscape in Masque of the Red Death, William Wilson, Tale of the Ragged Mountains, and House of Usher
A careful reading of Poe’s tales will quickly reveal the importance that landscape plays in the development of each literary work. "Ragged Mountains" has both a surreal and realistic landscape allowing Poe to use both the mental and the physical environment to explain his tale. This technique is also found in "The Fall of the House of Usher," "William Wilson," and "The Masque of the Red Death." In these tales too the reader may tend to focus on the action at hand, and the psychological details, because that is what we are prone to do with Poe stories. However, it is also important to understand that physical landscape as well.…show more content… The last part of the story has the house being swallowed into the ground, with the Ushers inside. Roderick had been slowly losing his sanity, and the fissure had slowly been widening until it was no longer "barely perceptible" but a crack that brought the house down. There is no doubt that Poe used this house and its surroundings to hint at what was going to happen.
In "William Wilson," the descriptions of the setting are not as in-your-face as in "Ragged Mountains" or "House of Usher," but they are very significant. Throughout the piece, Poe continues to describe the schoolhouse that the two Wilsons attend. Wilson (the narrator) discusses his first recollections of the schoolhouse, and uses such phrases as "dream-like," "misty-looking" and "deeply shadowed." On first reading, I did not really pay much attention to these phrases, but after I thought about them in the context of the storyline, I went back through and paid more attention. In class, Catherine Dudley sited the annotated text as saying "gates and doors are important symbols, for they often mark the threshold between one world and another." The other world here is the outside "real" world. I found this really interesting, because I had had the idea that perhaps there was really just one Wilson, and the second Wilson was just a personification of the