August 2009 Archives

Behind the Mask

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"Seize and unmask him - that we may know whom we have to hang, at sunrise, from the battlements!" (Poe p. 8)

Most often we are afraid of what we do not know. This is also true of Prince Prospero, who was not only angered that someone had crashed his party, but also that the person was hidden by a mask. His anger was a direct result of the fear he felt.

The mask  added to the personification and mystery of the Red Death while creating suspense of what would be behind it; was it a man, a figure, a ghost, or a corpse?. In truth, , it really didn't matter what was behind the mask, because we knew it all along.

Just a little Faith

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" ' With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!' cried Goodman Brown." (7)

The word "faith" has a double meaning for Goodman Brown and each type of faith was tested throughout his midnight stroll with the devil.

 Faith, Goodman's beloved wife, was first depicted as pure, innocent and Godly, but this description is tested as she is one of the new "converts" brought in to the devil's meeting. Was she truly pure to begin with or was it all a hoax?

Also, Goodman's own faith was tested. Throughout the night, Goodman is walking with the devil, ignoring anhything related to God. At the end of the story, Goodman cries out to Faith, "look up to heaven and resist the wicked one" (12). As soon as he does this, his struggle is over, along with the night. His faith in God has been reaffirmed, but not his faith in Faith.


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