Run From Death and You " ll End Up Finding It Edgar Allen Poe is famous for his gothic stories and poe tries. In The Fall of the House of Usher, the narrator visits his old childhood friend, Roderick Usher. The Usher family is a noble family that is well known for their incest ual behavior, which leads to multiple deformations for their offspring. The only living heirs of the Usher family are the twins, Roderick and Madeline Usher, forever chained to the decrepit house they live in with no chance of escape. In The Masque of the Red Death, a plague is reeking havoc upon the country and Prince Prospero can only do one thing: lock himself and his noble subjects in the abbey to party and not worry about death. In both of the short stories, the characters are stationed inside their house, trying to forget all miseries, but death still occupies the back of their minds.

The characters within the short stories are trying to prevent death by running away, but they end up rounding the corner to meet up with Death again. In The Fall of the House of Usher, the noble Roderick and Madeline Ushers are the remaining children of the family line. Since they have been keeping their bloodline pure, they have developed some unusual traits that prevent them from leaving their decaying house. As Madeline lives with a life-threatening disease that will soon take her life one day, Roderick refuses to see his twin sister die in that painful manner. So Roderick entombs his "dead" sister's body within the vault, hoping to see the end of his sister's suffering. Roderick wants the Usher line to end with him, but he can only accomplish that when one of the children dies.

He has the option of killing himself and taking the family line with him, but he chooses to kill his sister instead. Roderick has therefore, thwarted the Grim Reaper's plan on him. Death prevention is also similar in The Masque of the Red Death. While the people are continuously dying outside the castle from the Red Death, Prince Prospero locks himself and his royal subjects in the abbey, so they will not perish. In both of these stories, the characters are trying to prevent one thing from happening to them: death. In order to prevent Madeline's death from her disease, Roderick entombs her.

And in order to prevent Prince Prospero from perishing at a young age, he locks most of his loyal subjects and himself in the abbey. Days are passing by after Roderick Usher entombs his sister in the vault, but Roderick's moods are slowly changing from grief to extreme terror. As the narrator tries to remove all thoughts of death and ghastly phenomenon from the bewildered Roderick by reading the "Mad Trust," they hear similar sound effects that echo the story. The extremely nervous Roderick now bursts out screaming that he "'heard it. Long-long-long-many minutes, many hours, many days'" (p 20). The sounds he hears from beneath the house that emits from his own sister clawing out of the tomb, are constant reminders to him that she was still alive.

He dreads the day when Madeline successfully escapes from the vault and comes for him, and when she does come back to get him, that is a sign that Roderick will die. When both Roderick and the narrator see Madeline in her bloodied white robes at their doorway, it is a sign that Death is knocking at your door. But for this story, Death barges through the door and comes for Roderick, who does not put up a fight. This means that Roderick has come to accept his fate, even though he was dreading of what Madeline would do to him when she returns.

The similar fate happens in The Masque of the Red Death. For Prince Prospero's party, that is a revel that is suppose to make all the guests not think of death, to relive them of their fears and sorrows. The party is going well, until the black grandfather clock chimes on the hour of every hour. Everyone stops what they are doing when the hourly chiming occurs, which signals that their time is passing by, and death looms before them. However, as the grandfather clocks strikes midnight, a new arrival appears before the guests' very eyes.

A figure that is "tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. His vesture was dabbled in blood-and his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror" (128-9). The new guest is someone who appears at midnight, wears something gloomy, and scares everyone near him. This is the Red Death that plagues the country, which is suppose to be outside the abbey and not inside. Prince Prospero sees the figure and seems to have "convulsed, in the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste" (129). It seems that the prince has some idea of who the guest was, but he still chases after the figure to the black room, where the prince and everyone silently dies.

He dislikes the garb and the grotesque visage of the guest, which are distinguishable signs of death, yet Prince Prospero madly chases after the ghastly person to the end of the hall. He has been running away from death for a long time by locking himself and staying in the colorful rooms, but now he runs after death itself, towards the black and crimson room of doom. In both of the stories, Poe describes Death in different forms, but both are characterized as one having blood on them and some death-like visage. The idea of death is at the back of everyone's mind, it can come silently or plague a person's mind for eternity. But whatever method that death chooses to come by, no matter how much a person tries to prevent death by running away, they will eventually circle right back to the awaiting Death.