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Literary Analysis

714 words - 3 pages

Edgar Allan Poe is well known for is works that keep you on the edge of your seat. A lot of these thriller stories are in the dark romantic category. To help keep the dark romantic theme Poe establishes irrational characters in his short stories. He defines the character by what they say, do, and think, what their appearance is, and how they interact with the other characters in the story. In “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Poe creates two characters who are irrational in their own unique ways. Roderick Usher is a very unsettled man who is sick and radiates irrationality. The Narrator, on the other hand, seems to be a normal man who has everything together. However, when you really study what he does, the more unreasonable he becomes. Poe created a subtly irrational personality through the character of the Narrator.
The first way that Poe created an irrational character through the Narrator was through his actions. Throughout the entire gothic short story we see everything through the eyes of the Narrator. We see what he sees, hear what he says, even know what he thinks. The Narrator’s actions can be questionable from the very beginning, if you truly think about it. The Narrator was sent a letter from a boyhood friend, who he hasn’t seen in years, asking for his help, during his time of sickness. Usher and the Narrator were boyhood friends and nothing more. They do not keep in touch, so why would a rational person rush to the aid of a man he doesn’t really know? He never really knew much about Roderick Usher in the first place because he was a quiet child. Another action of his that is questionable is the fact that he helps bury Usher’s sister, who he didn’t know was Roderick’s twin until the burial, noticing that she might still be alive. The Narrator notices that Madeline still has some color in her cheeks, a sign of life. He notices that she very well could still be alive but doesn’t say anything and continues with the burial. Why wouldn’t you bring up a...

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