Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2002

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Symbolism Many works of literature use symbolism. Symbolism is a literary movement, which is used to avoid any direct statement of meaning. Writers and poets work through emotionally powerful symbols that suggest meaning and mood. Edger Allen Poe uses symbolism throughout many of his poems and short stories.

A guilty conscience can drive a man insane. In Poe's poem, "The Raven," symbolism is used. Throughout the poem, the bird answers everything with nevermore, evermore, and forevermore. The bird is never leaving the man, and this drives him insane. It is a reminder of his loved one Lenore. It is inferred that this man killed Lenore, and has to deal with his guilty conscience. This bird symbolizes the man's guilty conscience.

Poe uses symbolism within his short story, "The Mask of the Red Death." There are seven apartment rooms in the castle. The different decorations in each room represent something different.

In the black room, there was a red glass window with long dark draperies. This window symbolizes blood. The black room was a symbol for death. Ironically, the people in the castle died in this room. In another apartment room, it was completely covered in velvet. The velvet symbolizes a coffin because coffins are usually lined in velvet. Furthermore, there is a clock with a hanging pendulum, which represents mortality, or the passage of time.

In "The Fall of the House of Usher," Madeline and Roderick, the main characters, are twins who have many flaws. These flaws lead to the characters' downfall. They are both sick, but in different ways. Roderick is mentally ill, and Madeline is physically ill. Their flaws symbolize the defect in the house, which is a crack. As the crack gets bigger and bigger, and the house eventually gets destroyed. You can...