Poe's Style, While Not Unique, Is Extremely

Poe's style, while not unique, is extremely masterful in creating various literary atmospheres and eliciting emotional reactions from readers. He employs several tools in both "The Black Cat" as well as "The Masque of the Red Death" that give the unsuspecting reader a sense of mystery, fear, horror, and sheer excitement. In both short stories Poe skillfully creates a specific tone, successfully employs foreshadowing, and draws the readers attention to various metaphors and symbols to help concoct a truly unique reading experience. As the stories build, they both give the reader a sense of mortality, imminent doom, and the feeling of helplessness or of being trapped. Poe accomplishes this through his writing, and the setting up of each story's climax in a very calculated, deliberate way.

"The Masque of the Red Death" is an excellent example of Poe's ability to both foreshadow events as well as create symbols and metaphors from seemingly innocuous events and objects. He draws the reader in with the grotesque and graphic descriptions of the symptoms of the horrible disease, laying the foundation for the reader's emotion expectations and responses. He skillfully sets up the feeling of dread and doom in his own description of the seventh room of the Prince's abode writing, "The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet -- a deep blood color.." The imagery here is chilling, and each of the seven rooms represents a period in the life of a human being, from birth to death. Poe ingeniously constructs an allegory for moving through each of life's unique time periods through his description of the prince's apartment rooms. The seventh room with its unmatched, melancholy appearance and blood red windows are foreshadowing the events that will soon take place there. It symbolizes death and dread, just as the colors black and red often symbolize these two elements. This room was also the resting place of the gigantic ebony clock. This clock is also a symbol of the impending doom that is to befall the prince and his guests. The wonderful sense of security and feeling that the prince has set up a home impervious to the disease is shaken and destroyed by the end of the story. All of the guests at the party are weary of the ticking of the clock, as Poe uses this to illustrate the fact that they are running out of time, quite glaringly, in a place that has been cut off from the outside world. This feeling of inevitability and helplessness also add to the reader's feelings of fear and horror later in the story.

In "The Black Cat," Poe also successfully employs foreshadowing and metaphor. He begins the story by trying to develop an emotional bond between the reader and the narrator, as if this bond will help to solidify the reader's sympathy for what the narrator has to endure with the two cats, his dreams, and his late wife. The description of the cutting out of Pluto's eye is quite grotesque and extremely similar to the way Poe describes how the Red Death kills its victims. The symbolism behind the narrator cutting out Pluto's eye is quite important. The pen knife, used to sharpen and change the shape of a writing utensil in Poe's time is symbolically altering the cat's vision, and in doing so, changing the narrator's vision of the world around him and the "monsters and nightmares" in his life. Even the nameā€¦