The two stories written by Edgar Allan Poe “Ligeia” and “The Masque of Red Death” are deep and longing thoughts that parallel to his life. They both have a psychological depth of counseling to himself for himself. “Ligeia” forms that which Poe yearns for and what he wants but what he can’t have. “The Masque of Red Death” is what has really happened but also what he didn’t want. Both stories are coping mechanisms to help Poe reach a sense of peace of the mind for the deaths that loom around him. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Ligeia” is his dream world and “The Masque of Red Death” is Poe’s Reality. Fantasy, that which is not real but more of what you dream of at night. The short story “Ligeia” is a story like a dream about love, about a narrator that loves so passionately for his one and true Ligeia, who was taken by death and swept off to the afterlife but finds her way back to world of the living, back to her love. Ligeia the narrator’s lover is the woman who dies but is described to have lived and loved so passionately that turns into her will to live. The story “Ligeia" begins with a man and a woman in love with each other, this beginning parallels Poe in his beginning. Poe starts with love in his life, a loving mother and foster mother. Just like the love that came first into Poe’s life the narrator of the short story also has a first love. It’s almost undeniable that the narrator of the story is the double, a split personality of Poe a psychological parallel of him. An example of this parallel plane would be when the narrator describes Ligeia’s eyes “The hue of the orb’s was the most brilliant of black, and, far over them, hung jetty lashes of great length” (Poe 1). Think of eyes/orbs they are like a door to the soul a connection to the past, present or future. Its possible that Ligeia’s are the eyes of the women that died, especially the eyes that he had to watch pass away.
Moving deeper into the psychological distress of Poe’s mind, there is an ever-longing desire to bring the ones he loves back to the world of the living or at least to see either his mother or his foster mother one last time. Of course this is not something that can be done, or something that should be done depending on the belief system of ones mind. Poe knows that his mother loved him unconditionally and so did his foster mother, he did not doubt this, and the words that Poe gives to the narrator describe this, the narrator says “That she loved me I should not have doubted; and I might have been easily aware that, in a bosom such as hers, love would have reigned no ordinary passion” (Poe 2). Slowly the desire to bring back the people that meant the most grows stronger but in the world that humans of flesh and blood walk around in there is no possible way to bring back the ones that have passed away. The will to live becomes stronger. In the story there is reference to a curious mind, possibly Poe is curious, the question is asked can one simply dream and wish so passionately that they can go beyond the will of whomever their god may be that their loved one will go beyond the grave to come back. The narrator says, “Are we not part and parcel in Thee? Who – who knoweth the mysteries of the will with its vigor? Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will” (Poe 3). After the death of Ligeia the narrator attempts to move forward with his life. Up until this point Poe’s life seem to mimic the story. The narrator even finds someone to marry, her name Rowena. Referring back to Poe this could be the Virginia that he cares for, but Virginia could be Poe replacement for that tender motherly love that he longed for. Take note that for any child to witness the death of his mother there is bound to be some psychological digression of unknown depths. Sure Poe may have loved Virginia deeply but how would anyone know if that love wasn’t shaped from the death of his mother.