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Fear In The Tell-Tale Heart And The Masque Of Red Death

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Fear has two sides, just like any other character trait. Fear offers restraint and withholds us from making irrational decisions, it keeps us alert, and finally, it's a survival instinct. But, fear is not one sided, it also has its negative side. When you're constantly in fear, it causes you to have paranoia, which leaves you paralyzed. When you become paranoid because of fear, you are driven by something else, you're no longer yourself. You're driven by paranoia and fear, and that causes you to cloud all rational thoughts. In all of Edgar Allan Poe's work, all the main characters experience fear. Poe uses irony, symbol, and imagery to show us how paranoia and fear can distort one's mind causing them to have unhealthy obsessions which leads …show more content…
When we read the stories, ‘The Tell -Tale Heart” and “The Masque of Red Death” we see many examples of symbolism. In “The Tell - Tale Heart”, the biggest symbol is the old man’s eye. The old man’s eye didn’t just symbolize an ordinary eye, it has a deeper meaning. The old man’s eye symbolizes fear. The narrator says that the old man’s eye horrifies him. The narrator describes the old man’s eye, and says, “One of his eyes resembles that of a vulture - a pale blue eye, with film over it”(pg.523) . He compares the old man’s eye to the eye of a vulture to show the reader that the old man didn’t have an ordinary eye, he had a sinister eye. The eye also symbolizes fear, the narrator was fearful of the old man’s eye until the eye became an obsession to him. The obsession the narrator had led him to murder the old man. After he murdered the old man, he wasn’t okay, he had such a strong sense of guilt that he turned himself to the police, and he eventually ended up dying. In the story “The Masque of Red Death”, the biggest symbol is death. The prince takes one thousand …show more content…
Figurative language is language that uses words or expressions with a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation. The first example of figurative language is a simile. A simile is a comparison of two things using the words like or as. Poe compares the seven candles in the dungeon to angels. From the narrator's perspective the candles look like angels, and how they shine so purely. “And then my vision fell upon the seven tall candles upon the table. At first they wore the aspect of charity, and seemed white slender angels who would save me; but then, all at once, there came a most deadly nausea over my spirit, and felt every fibre in my frame thrill as if I had touched the wire of a galvanic battery, while the angel forms became meaningless spectres, with heads of flame, and I saw that from there would be no help” (pg. 62-63). This quote is an example of a simile. It shows how the narrator compares the seven candles to seven angels who would help him. Another example of figurative language used in the story was alliteration. The narrator describes the judges using alliteration, “They appeared to me white - whiter than the sheet which I trace these words…” (pg. 62). And finally, the last example of figurative language in “The Pit and the Pendulum” was an allusion. “Weighty rod of brass, and the hole hissed as it swung through the air” (pg.67). Poe

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