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The Masque Of The Red Death Symbol Analysis

Decent Essays
The symbols in the story “The Masque of the Red Death” function in the work, revealing characteristics and themes of the story as a whole in many ways. Edgar Allan Poe uses a variety of symbols for characters, objects, and even thoughts in his story. These symbols express his ideas, clarify his meaning, and enlarge his literal meanings as he explains how death has no escape. Several of Poe’s symbols include the series of seven rooms, the clock, and the abbey. One of the first symbols that Poe used in “The Masque of the Red Death” was the series of seven rooms. Poe used the series of seven rooms to symbolize the stages of life. The seven rooms symbolized the different stages of life that a person goes through. The rooms started from the color…show more content…
The clock that was set at the masquerade party was simply a symbol for time. The clock tells time and was used as a symbol for it. The clock was there ticking as a reminder that time runs out. Time simply will eventually run out and it should be enjoyed, every second of it, because it is so precious and is limited. According to Hubert Zapf, “In the striking of the hours [the clock] which dictates the rhythm and the festivities, time, like space, is made conscious not only as a consitutive [sic] category of narrative fiction, but as an existential manifestation of a principle which consumes itself and which, as such, is built into the events of the masque as their structuring law” (47). Zapf is trying to explain that the clock was present at the ball as a reminder that times supply would eventually come to an end. The clock didn’t necessarily symbolize death, but otherwise was seen as a symbol to remind that time does run out and every minute of it should be enjoyed. “But when the echoes had fully ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly...and made whispering vows, to each other, that the next chiming of the clock should produce in them no similar emotion; and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes...there came yet another chiming of the clock, and then were the same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation as before” (Poe 2). Poe meant with this that people do not always realize time is going to eventually run out until they are reminded. Everyone ever so often is reminded that death does in fact exist. For example, when a family suffers a loss of someone dear to the family, they suddenly are reminded of deaths existence and how it is inevitable and appears to come out of nowhere and how someone’s time will eventually run out. The clock chiming at the ball is relative to this example in the fact that the clock was a reminder of death or time running out. Whenever the guests
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