“The Fall of the House of Usher” Thesis
Poe used the disorders of multiple personalities and schizophrenia In countless numbers of his eerie and shudders tales. An example of his use of them is in “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Multiple Personality Disorder, or Dissociation Identity Disorder is used in “The Fall of the House of Usher” to describe Redbrick Usher’s mental Issues. The narrator could be a result of a childhood trauma, resulting in usher having multiple personality disorder.
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In the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Redbrick Usher and the narrator are the same person, Just efferent variations of each other because of their social interactions with other characters, their common interests and their emotional characteristics. Redbrick Usher and the narrator are the same person because of their social interactions with the other characters, like Madeline and the doctors. “At the request of Usher, I personally aided him in the temporary entombment,” (Poe, 28). This shows that Usher doesn’t want anyone else, but his best friend, or his other personality to loin him In grieving his sister’s death.
People with Dissociation Identity Disorder (DID) ay have trouble keeping a job and maintaining relationships, (“Dissociation Disorders. ” ). Since both Usher and the narrator don’t interact with anyone else besides each other, this leads the reader to ponder the thought of Dissociation Identity Disorder. They spend all their time together. “For several days ensuing, her name was unmentioned by either myself or usher ; and during this period I was busied in the earnest endeavors to alleviate the melancholy of my friend,” ( Poe, 15).
This also is an example of how the two don’t interact with other characters. We don’t now what usher Is really thinking, and the narrator Is only trying to help usher. They both don’t Interact with anyone else, and they have the same thought process. “Dissociation Identity Disorder is an illness characterized by the presence of at least 2 clear personality states called alters,”( “Dissociation Disorders”). The narrator is the alter of Usher, and It Is clear to see that they act the same, and sometimes think the same. A sensation of stupor oppressed me as my eyes followed her retreating steps,”(Poe, 1 5). Usher can’t stop thinking about Madeline, and the narrator can’t stop tarring at her as she walks out of the room. You could say that the narrator is the eyes and Usher is the mind. According to WebMD, “Two or more distinct identities of personality states are present. Each with Its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self,” (“Dissociation Identity Disorder” ).
The personalities may be different, but they think alike, and may also act alike. The narrator and Usher cannot stop watching or thinking about Madeline In her final days. However, they never speak of her or to her. Their social interactions are the same, and so are their interests. Redbrick usher and the narrator both paint from time to time, and they both enjoy reading classic books. “We pored over such works as the Pervert et Chartreuse of Greatest’,” (Poe, 26). This shows that usher and the narrator have similar tastes In hobbles and activities.
Perhaps the narrator Is an alter personality of Redbrick Usher. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Alter personalities may share common interests, but 1 OFF and the narrator can be the same person, and the narrator is the alter personality for Redbrick Usher. “From the painting over which his elaborate fancy brooded, and ere, touch by touch, into vagueness at which I shuddered the more thrillingly,”(Poe 16). The narrator and Usher both loved to paint, but have fallen out of it. They don’t paint any more, maybe because of trauma that happened in their lives that brings bad memories. Individuals with DID often also suffer from other mental illnesses, including postgraduates stress disorder,”( “Dissociation Disorders. ” ). The postgraduates stress disorder may have caused both to stop painting, making the narrator seem more and more like an alter personality to Redbrick Usher. Another example of how they can be the same person is through their emotional heartsickness. Usher and the narrator share the same emotional characteristics, therefore making the narrator the alter personality of Usher. “An observable change came over his features of mental disorder,”(Poe, 30).
The narrator only describes what Usher is doing or feeling, making people think that they are the same person. “The person literally dissociates himself from a situation or experience that’s too violent, traumatic, or painful to assimilate with his conscious self,” (“Dissociation Identity Disorder”). The narrator’s change in mental status may be the result of thinking of Madeline dying, or something that happened in his childhood. You may notice that the narrator describes Usher’s emotions, no one else’s. “Redbrick Usher had been one of my boon companions in boyhood,” (Poe, 2,).
Usher and the narrator have been friends forever, and would be if Usher didn’t die. “DID is thought to stem from trauma experienced by the person with the disorder, mainly in childhood,”(“Dissociation Identity’. ). If Usher knew the narrator in childhood, maybe it was his alter personality. In the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Redbrick Usher and the narrator re the same person, Just different variations of each other because of their social interactions with each other, their common interests, and their emotional characteristics.
The evidence from both the story and the articles support this thesis because Dissociation Identity Disorder can be caused by trauma, from childhood, and even later on in life. Alter personalities can be like the “host” personality, or they can be the exact opposite. It is important to know this to tie the evidence to Edgar Allan Pope’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”. So tell me, does he have an alter personality?