Thesis: The depression and hardships experienced by Edgar Allan Poe during his lifetime led to reoccurring themes of death and Goth in many of his short stories.
I. “The Cask of Amontillado”
A. Premeditated murder is the theme of “The Cask of Amontillado”.
1. Montresor has a deep hatred for Fortunato.
2. Fortunato plans to kills Montresor.
B. The setting of “The Cask of Amontillado” leads to feeling of Goth in the story.
1. The catacombs of Fortunato’s home lead to the place of death.
2. Death is a major component of Gothicism.
II . “The Masque of Red Death”
A. Death is the theme of this short story.
1. Everyone at the party dies.
2. The Prince planned the deaths before hand.
B. The palace shows the signs of death.
1. The rooms of the palace are laid out in this cycle of death.
a. The rooms go from east to west, just as the sunrises and sets in the sky.
b. They start out with light and color, but fade to black and darkness.
2. The decor of the palace also reflects death.
a. The Ebony clock is in the last room draped in black velvet.
b. The black room symbolizes death; it is also the last room in the palace.
III. “The Fall of the House of Usher”
A. “The Fall of the House of Usher” uses death as a major concept.
1. All of the Ushers have died and there are only two remaining in the family.
2. Madeline dies during the story.
B. The house reflects death in many ways.
a. The grounds show no signs of life.
b. The inside is also very deserted and reflects the Gothicism of the home.