A Psycho-analysis of The Oval Portrait, and "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe.

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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 …

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…he lost members of his family, and was in the army, this was his way of dealing with death, but at the same time grieving for his losses. Poe is telling us to enjoy life while we can, but to realize that at the end of our lives, whenever it comes, we will all have to answer to the death clock. Enjoy it while you can, he says, but don't try to fight the inevitable.