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Man's Eventual Appointment with Death in Poe's

             The disturbing glow of Edgar Allan Poe's stories and poems come from all of the detail and symbolism that goes into them. His imagination is far beyond what most authors could ever fathom. Every thought and every word that is placed in a sentence adds to the overall outcome of the story. The main character in the story, Prince Prospero, throws a party during the plague; unfortunately death comes into his home and takes the lives of everyone there. In "The Masque of the Red Death," Poe uses symbolism through the colors of the rooms, the clock that counts down time, and the characters at the ball in order to discuss man's eventual appointment with death.
             At the ball, the castle has seven arranged rooms that each has a different color and have all been decorated according to the Prince's taste (Wolfgang 521). These colors start at blue and progress to purple, to green, then orange, to white, next violet and finally to black (Poe 269). All of these colors, in this particular order, are said to represent the evolution of a man's life ("Overview," AVL). None of the rooms have very much lighting. In each room there is a fire burning behind a colored window that illuminates that certain color throughout the entire space (Poe 269). .
             The first six rooms that appear do not seem to have a terrible effect on the guests, however there are other feelings that go along with the final room. Just the sight of this room was enough to scare people off. The "dark hangings" (Poe 296) and "blood-tinted panes" (Poe 296) were hints of death that they did not want to have anything to do with. Most everyone perceives the final room with death. "It is, however, the room in which the reminders of death are the strongest, and it is the room to which all must come who traverse the preceding six," according to Roppolo (Roppolo 141). This concluding room is also the keeper of the ebony clock that counts down time until death (Poe 270).

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