They're All Mad Here: A Literary Comparission of The Fall of the House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death

1897 WordsJun 18, 20188 Pages
They’re All Mad Here: A Literary Comparison of “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Masque of the Red Death” Internationally known romantic author Edgar Allan Poe has always represented darkness, madness, and death in his stories. With these representations, Poe must provide this mood for the reader to become engulfed in the madness. In his tale “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe uses descriptive details about the dull color and ruggedness of the house and the Ushers themselves to set a gloomy mood. He also describes in detail Roderick Usher’s descent into madness and his fearfulness of death. In turn, he depicts brightly colored chambers in “The Masque of the Red Death,” but the arrangement of colors provides a chaotic…show more content…
This routine breaks when his twin sister Madeline “dies” and Roderick and the narrator entomb her within the house. The death of his sister causes Roderick to descend deeper into his own madness. He spends most of his time roaming “from chamber to chamber with hurried, unequal, and objectless step” and began neglecting the daily activities shared between him and the narrator (Poe). Due to the lack of social interaction between the two, literary expert Craig Howes believes the already mad Roderick now “draws the narrator into madness,” (Howes). Now that Roderick has become less sociable with the narrator and there is one less person in the house, the narrator lacks the social interactions required by most humans. He feels uneasy about the “corpse” they have entombed and begins to fear the initial dark and gloom of the house itself both inside and out. Although Prince Prospero from “The Masque of the Red Death” has descended into madness just as much, if not more so, as Roderick Usher, his madness is represented in a different manner. Prospero’s madness is fueled primarily by ignorance. He believes as long as he and his guests remain within the confines of the abbey, they will all be safe from the “Red Death.” Due to this ignorance, within the abbey “there were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was

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