Monkeys Paw And Masque Of Red Death


Monkey`s Paw And Masque Of Red Death Essay, Research Paper

Imagine you could wish for your heart?s desire. It could be anything you

wanted. However, someone would have to die for your wish to come true. Remember,

be careful of what you wish for; The consequences may be horrific. The idea of

fate and symbolism, when mixed together, can make a lethal pair. Poe and Jacobs

use fate and symbolism to paint an effective picture of death. The idea of fate

is used in both ?The Monkey?s Paw? and ?The Masque of the Red Death?

very well. In ?Monkey?, the paw manipulates faith. ?It moved…..As I

wished it twisted in my hand like a snake.? The twisting and movement

represents someone or something manipulating fate for their wants. In

?Masque?, the aristocracy also tried to manipulate fate. However, they

weren?t wishing any material possessions; they were trying to control fate to

survive the Red Death. ?The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions

the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion.? By provisioning the abbey and

taking other precautions, the partygoers were trying to cheat death. Changing

your destiny can have consequences. Op and Jacob?s both demonstrate this. In

?Monkey?, the father wishes for two hundred pounds. While it does come true,

there was a consequence. This was Herbert?s death. The same thing goes for

?Masque.? Even though the people took precautions (a.k.a. manipulating fate)

against the Red Death, they still died. Edgar Allen Poe and W.W. Jacobs do an

excellent job of using symbolism in their stories. Jacobs uses the monkey?s

paw to symbolize someone trying to change or manipulate fate. The fact that is a

monkey?s paw is important for one reason: A monkey is the only other animal

besides humans that has opposable thumbs. In ?Masque?, one of the seven

deadly sins, pride, is used to symbolize fate manipulation. The people had so

much pride that they thought they could do anything. They even thought they

could change their destiny. Another symbol in ?Monkey? is the chessboard and

game at the beginning. The chessboard symbolizes life. The pieces are people

like us. They can move certain ways, but if they make a mistake or try to do

something audacious, there can be consequences. Checkmate, or death, is one of

those consequences. The mummer in ?Masque? also symbolizes death. ?The

figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of

the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble

the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closes scrutiny must have had

difficulty in detecting the cheat.? This description alone represents the

Plague, the death of the people. Poe and Jacobs both used the idea of changing

our fate very well in their stories. They did the same with symbolism, too.

These two literary concepts can create a vivid image for the reader. I feel

there is one major theme you can get from these stories, especially ?The

Monkey?s Paw.? That is: Be careful what you wish for.

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