Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death.".

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Can We Escape Death?

Can we change our destiny? Are we immortal? Can castellated towers prevent death from reaching us? Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" reveals that death is one of the realities that we all have to face one day, but each at different times. The Red Death indicates Scarlet Disease in the 1790's which Prince Prospero was trying to avoid. This is synonymous of the 21st century where many people will do anything to avoid death.

The main character in this story is Prince Prospero. Poe uses this name to suggest pleasure and prosperity. However, ironically this is not the case. Within the abbey, he creates a world of his own, not worried by the plague and is confident of his own survival and the survival of his one thousand friends. He is enjoying life like he's indispensable. In addition, Prince Prospero feels secure and isolated behind the walls of his abbey, believing the Red Death is an external foe.

The Prince is foolish, for he doesn't realize that nothing stands in death's way.

Poe's use of detailed setting relates to the reality of death being unavoidable. Most of the affairs take place in one of the rooms where Prince Prospero has provided all means of pleasure, from musicians to ballet dancers. Although the Prince is hiding from death by creating a prison out of his fortress, the unique way he decorates the seven rooms of his suite reminds us that death is a part of everyone. Cowardly, Prince Prospero is trying to escape death in his suite, yet every room represents the fact that whenever there is life, death always follows. For example, the seven rooms in which the masquerade takes place are arranged from east to west and each room...