The Masque of the Red Death Essay

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A representative of the psychological guide and of the group which sees no meaning in "The Masque of the Red Death" is Albert Mordell, whose book, The Erotic Motive in Literature, widely read since 1919, was reissued in 1962 with a new section on Poe. Mordell writes blithely of Poe's "Loss of Breadth" and of a character named Roger Usher who, "like Poe, had been disappointed in love, and probably also drank." To Mordell, Poe was not only a frustrated lover and a drunkard; he was also a sadist and a masochist, a man who suffered from "a damming of the libido" and who was "so absorbed in his dreams that he never tried to take an interest in reality. Hence," Mordell concludes, "we will find no moral note in Poe's work"—with the single exception of "William Wilson."

In sharp contrast, Vincent Buranelli argues that Poe "was...

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This section contains 1,453 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Masque of the Red Death Study Guide
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