When I am alone at my house and mysterious noises start, I immediately assume that something supernatural is occurring. This is a natural human instinct and relates to the characters in "The Fall of the House of Usher", a gothic horror story written by Edgar Allen Poe, and Julio Cortázar’s magical realism story, “House Taken Over”. While magical realism is a genre that has elements of both reality and magic, gothic literature usually has a strange or violent plot, tortured characters, and a gloomy mood. These two stories show differences in the way the houses are described, the relationships of the siblings, and the mood.
In Poe’s short story, “The Fall of The House of Usher”, he uses dark, gloomy, and suspenseful verbs, nouns, and descriptions to define the inside and outside of the Usher household. By doing this, the imagery created becomes very vivid to the reader which helps lead to a sense of fear while reading. The genre, gothic literature, refers to a style of writing that is characterized by elements of fear, horror, death, and gloom, as well as romantic elements, such as nature, individuality, and very high emotion. “I looked upon the scene before me – the bleak walls, vacant eye-like windows, rank sedges, and a few white trunks of decayed trees...” (Poe 14). The use of words like dull, dark, vacant, decayed, and bleak shows the darkness of the Usher’s mansion and the short story in general.
In both writings, one of the main characters lives in a house with their sister and are a big part in the stories. However, in Poe’s story the brother/sister relationship is different from Cortázar’s because the relationship is incestual. “We were easing into our forties with the unvoiced concept that the quiet, simple marriage of sister and brother was the indispensable end to a line established in this house by our grandparents” (Cortázar 38), this explains that the...