The Masque of the Red Death Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

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Compare and contrast the views on nature exhibited in Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" and Emerson's essay "Nature."  

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The depiction of nature in Poe's short story and Emerson's essay have little in common. The Red Death is a disease, and it is therefore natural, but it is absolutely terrifying and does not care at all about humanity. In fact, human life seems to be pitted against nature here. "No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous." Nature seems rather godless and merciless, as though it is actually working against us and our interests or, at best, completely careless of us. The disease personified actually seeks out the prince and his friends, as if to show that no one is immune to death. In Emerson's essay, on the other hand, nature is what saves us rather than destroys us. He says that we must go out into nature if we are to truly live, to experience and reap the benefits of solitude, to see the stars and know God. In both texts, nature certainly...

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