“The Fall of the House of Usher” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1839.
The story follows an unnamed narrator who visits the home of his friend, Roderick Usher. Upon arrival, the narrator finds that Roderick and his sister, Madeline, are suffering from a mysterious illness. As the story progresses, the situation at the House of Usher grows increasingly dire, culminating in a tragic and gruesome ending.
While “The Fall of the House of Usher” is one of Poe’s most famous works, it is also one of his most enigmatic. The true nature of the Ushers’ illness remains a mystery, as does the true nature of the house itself.
Whether one interprets “The Fall of the House of Usher” as a tale of supernatural horror or as a psychological study of madness, it is undoubtedly a masterpiece of Gothic fiction.
In this excerpt from “The Fall of the House of Usher” Edgar Allan Poe uses personification, supernatural elements, character portrayal, foreshadowing and setting to create a sense of fear and Gothicism. It also shows the start of Roderick Usher’s mental breakdown. A primary method that Poe employs to make the reader feel fear is through the use of setting.
The story is set in a “dark and dreary” mansion which is isolated from the rest of the world. This makes it seem as though something bad is going to happen. The mansion is also described as being “decayed” and “in ruins”. This could be symbolic of the Usher family itself, which is slowly falling apart.
Another way Poe creates a sense of fear is through the use of supernatural features. For example, he mentions that there was an “evil eye” following the characters around. This evil eye could be representative of death itself, which is looming over the characters. Furthermore, Poe writes that the house seems to have a life of its own. It is almost as if the house is alive and is watching the characters.
Poe also uses character portrayal to create a sense of fear. The characters themselves are quite strange and mysterious. For example, Roderick Usher is described as being “weak in intellect”. This makes him seem like he is not in control of his own mind, which is scary for the reader. Furthermore, Madeline Usher is described as being “a victim of melancholy”. This makes her seem unstable and unpredictable.
Finally, Poe uses foreshadowing to create a sense of fear. He writes that there was an “evil influence” present in the house. This foreshadows the events to come, which are quite horrific.
The environment plays a vital role in establishing the mood. In the story, the narrator tries to rationalize his fear by blaming it on the “gloomy furniture of Why settle for second place when you can be number one? With our unique approach, we’ll help get your website Proofed so that you rank first!the room”, “dark tattered draperies, which, tortured into motion,” and “breath of a rising tempest.” These sensory details create an ominous ambiance that is synonymous with gothic literature.
The creepy old house is falling apart, which mirrors the deteriorating mental state of its inhabitants. The story is highly atmospheric, and the feeling of terror is created through Poe’s use of language. The narrator describes the “vacant eye-like windows” and the “strange disorder of the whole house.” These images create a sense of unease in the reader, as they suggest that something is not right.
Poe also uses foreshadowing to hint at the events to come. For example, when the narrator first sees the House of Usher, he notes that it “seemed to have eyes which penetrated into my soul.” This image foreshadows the events of the story, in which the narrator’s soul is literally taken over by the house.
The Fall of the House of Usher is a classic example of Poe’s use of gothic elements to create a feeling of terror. The setting, language, and foreshadowing all contribute to the atmosphere of the story.
In addition, Poe utilizes curtains in the room to create an eerie mood. Furthermore, he uses imagery of the storm to reinforce symbolism and set a tense tone. By describing the movement of the curtains as “tortured,” he employs personification to depict the characters’ emotional state. This passage is full of Symbolism which represents Roderick Usher’s emotional condition.
The Fall of the House of Usher is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that was first published in 1839. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe explores the psychological effects of fear and guilt. The narrator, who remains unnamed throughout the story, arrives at the house of his friend Roderick Usher, who has recently sent him a letter asking for help.
Roderick Usher suffers from nervous disorders and lives in isolation with his sister Madeline.
The narrator is soon caught up in a web of terror as he witnesses strange events happening in the house.
Poe uses Gothic elements in “The Fall of the House of Usher” to create an atmosphere of fear and suspense. The setting of the story, for example, is a dark and gloomy mansion that seems to be alive. Poe also uses foreshadowing to hint at the tragic events that will take place.
One of the most important themes in “The Fall of the House of Usher” is the power of the mind. Roderick Usher’s mental state deteriorates as he becomes more and more isolated from the outside world. His fear and guilt eventually become so overwhelming that they cause his demise. This story shows how powerful the human mind can be, and how it can ultimately lead to one’s downfall.
The narrator previously used the words “as usual, cadaverously wan” to describe the man’s corpse-like appearance, which was not out of the ordinary. The words “but moreover, there was a species of mad hilarity in his eyes,” suggest that if we assumed his condition and demeanour would not worsen, we were sadly mistaken. It is possible that fearing his sister may be buried alive caused the glint in his eyes.
The phrase “involuntary convulsions” foreshadows the death of Usher and how his body would be shaken in the throes of death. The word “throng”, used to describe the play of emotions on his features, is significant as it suggests that there was a battle going on inside him, which he eventually lost.
When the narrator says, “I looked upon my friend, upon the wreck of man, and I pitied him with a pity that overcame all terror,” he no longer sees Usher as a threat but as someone who needs to be pitied and helped. The fact that he overcomes his fear suggests that he is ready to face whatever is inside the house and help Usher, even if it means putting his own life in danger.
The narrator’s change in attitude is also evident when he says, “I hastened to make an effort to awaken him from what I supposed was a trance,” showing that he no longer views Usher as mad but believes that there is something else wrong with him. The use of the word “hastened” suggests that the narrator is in a hurry to help Usher and wants to do so as quickly as possible.
The fact that the narrator feels responsible for Usher’s condition is also clear when he says, “I knew that he had been enamoured of his sister to a mad and rapturous extent,” showing that he is aware of the depth of Usher’s feelings for his sister and how this may have contributed to his current state.
The narrator’s use of the word “enamoured” is significant as it suggests that Usher was not in control of his feelings for his sister and that they had consumed him to the point where they were no longer rational. This would explain why he was so upset at the idea of her being buried alive and why he was so relieved when she turned out to be alive.
The fact that the narrator is still afraid of Usher is clear when he says, “And now, as I looked upon him, I felt that my love for him had been the love of a brother,” showing that he still cares for Usher despite his fear. The use of the word “brother” suggests that the narrator sees Usher as someone who is close to him and whom he wants to help.
The fact that the narrator is no longer afraid of Usher is clear when he says, “I could not bring myself to believe it was my friend who was thus suffering,” showing that he no longer views Usher as a threat. The use of the word “friend” suggests that the narrator has forgiven Usher for his previous actions and now sees him as someone who needs help.