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Word Count: 628
Poe uses The Oval Portrait to make a comment on life particularly on things that he may have missed out on for one reason or another In particular love beauty and seeing the truth about life The narrator is the vehicle he uses for his contemplation although there are other characters that embody his emotions The narrator who is obviously badly wounded even perhaps dying has come to a chateau where he has a chance to reflect on things while he is recuperating The two characters at the beginning of the story Mrs Radcliffe and a valet named Pedro are a mother and father type caring figure respectively Poe himself never really had parents and so this is his way of living out his dreams The candelabra which the narrator uses to firstly read about the paintings on the wall is the object which sheds true light on the portrait This is like a reflection where he realizes what is going on in his life He sees in the young woman in the portrait everything he is lacking in his life beauty love freedom in life He likens himself to the painter who though he honours and displays the beauty in his paintings he is unable to feel and touch and experience the fullness of life Poe is trying to say that it is only when we reach the end of our lives that we can truly sit back and appreciate the beauty in life Often times it can take a new light to see the truth lurking in the shadows perhaps in denial by ourself Poe regrets not taking the time to experience the fullness of life either getting caught up in trying to live out his life that he forgets to stop and smell the roses The Masque of the Red Death is a comment on the inevitability of death and the progression of life In a time
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