Poe: The Fall Of The House Of Usher

1071 words - 4 pages

Death Conquers All:The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allen PoeIn his short story "The Fall of the House of Usher", Edgar Allen Poe presents an elaborated plot filled with a prophetic sense of destruction. Poe uses several literary devices, among the most prevalent, such as his unhealthy mental imagery and a parallelism that is so strange as it inspires a feeling of fear.In "The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe introduces the reader to three characters; Lady Madeline, Roderick Usher, and the narrator, whose name is never given. The three characters are unique people with different characteristics, but they all eventually suffer from the same mental disorder. All of them suffer from insanity, yet each responds differently. Madeline seems to accept the fact that she is insane and continues through life with that knowledge. Roderick seems to realize his mental state and makes every effort to hold on his sanity. And the narrator who is slowly but surely contracting the disease, wants to deny what he sees, hears, and senses. In the end he regains his senses but only because he flees from the house.Poe' s writings are known for their macabre subject matter. In "The Fall of the House of Usher", Poe uses the life-like characteristics of an otherwise decaying house as a device for giving the house a supernatural atmosphere. From the beginning of the story the narrator claims to have sensed something unusual and supernatural about the house. After he sees the inside of the house the narrator has a heightened superstition, though he tries to view everything he sees rationally. He observes the home and sees fungi growing all over it andthe decaying masonry "there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts and the utterly porous and evidently decayed condition of stones" (Poe,125)as if to say something supernatural was holding the house up, otherwise it might have fallen apart a long time before. By giving objects almost lifelike characteristics, Poe gives the house a supernatural quality which serves to make the story more interesting andsuspenseful in his treatment of the houses effect on its inhabitants.There are sections in the story where different forms of art; a painting and a poem, are introduced. Both of them tell a story within a story. These stories , in their own way are somehow parallel to the story in "The Fall of the House of Usher". For example, the painting was a painting done by Henry Fuesli. "Fuesli was noted for his interest in the supernatural."(Poe, 127). "A small picture presented the interior of an immensely long and rectangular vault or tunnel, with low walls, smooth, white, and without interruption...and bathed the whole in a ghastly and inappropriate splendor." (Poe, 127). This description can be interpreted as a place of sorrow, where the atmosphere is morbid and cold. All that this painting did was to add morbidity and coldness to the house.The poem entitled "The Haunted Palace" makes a...

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