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What is Poe's tone in the short story, "The Masque of the Red Death?" What effect did...

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hotpinkkindag... | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 29, 2009 at 8:30 AM via web

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What is Poe's tone in the short story, "The Masque of the Red Death?" What effect did the ebony clock have on the guests every time it chimed?

I am writing a paper about this story for my English class.

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chicagorilke23 | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted November 29, 2009 at 5:56 PM (Answer #1)

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Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death takes on a Gothic and dark natured tone throughout the short story. The effect of the ebony clock on the guests is one of fear. Each time the clock sounds; everyone is motionless and does not speak. The band does not play.

The ebony clock is also located in the seventh or black and red room. Oddly enough, when the clock does not sound, the rooms take on a beautiful glow and there is not a sense of fear among the guests. The guests feel like they are in dreamland. They are content.

The clock alerts people to their mortality. This notion goes along with the belief that each room represents a stage of life. It also explains why the black and red room is where the events at the end of the story take place.

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