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The Masque of the Red Death

by Edgar Allan Poe

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In "The Masque of the Red Death," describe the black room.

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Although each of the first six rooms is draped in the same color that appears upon the windows, the walls of the final room are hung with "black velvet tapestries," and the room has window panes of "scarlet—a deep blood color." Just outside the room is a tripod lit with fire so that it projects its light through the blood-colored windows. The narrator calls the effect, in this particular room, "ghastly in the extreme," so much so that few revelers are actually willing to enter the room at all. The carpets are sable, like the walls, and there is a large clock of ebony that chimes every sixty minutes. Whenever it tolls the hour, all the party-goers become paralyzed and feel compelled to stop dancing and listen; perhaps it reminds them of those people outside the abbey who have perished of the fatal Red Death within the last hour, or perhaps it reminds them that they, too, must some day die, that they cannot escape mortality.

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