The "Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe greatly touches upon the conflict between the wealthy and the poor, with one of Poe's purposes of writing being to arise sympathy and possibly guilt within the wealthy of the time. Could the economic divide present be considered a motif, or is there a better and more accurate term to describe such an idea?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

  • Questions about existing literary works are off-topic unless they relate to writing projects. Closing. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Sep 30 '15 at 1:40

That would be a theme rather than a motif. A theme is an idea or message that's key to the story, and a motif is an element that recurs throughout the story--an object, symbol, etc.--that contributes to building a theme.

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