Symbolism And The Theme Of Incest In &Quot;The Fall Of The House Of Usher&Quot;

776 words - 3 pages

Symbolism and incest are both very apparent themes throughout the story of "The Fall of the House of Usher", by Edgar Allan Poe, and helps us to better understand the events that occur. Poe uses his symbolism to reveal character traits, foreshadow future events and helps his reader to understand the events that occur throughout the story. Throughout the story we realize that the relationship between brother and sister is not a normal sibling bond. We also see that the siblings themselves are not normal in all the aspects of a human being.

Incest is an issue throughout the story and Poe constantly used symbolism in the story to relate back to incest. Poe uses symbolism to expose character traits throughout the story, from the very beginning we see that Roderick is a very unusual being that has many odd habits. "The most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odors of all the flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror" (Poe 717). His home is dark because he cannot stand bright colors or bright lights and this is why the windows are stained a crimson red, and the walls and floors are stained dark colors such as brown and gray. As dark as his home is, so is his soul, he is a dark depressed man. Even the music he listens to is just instrumentals and never is upbeat or of a happy sound, it's always sad or scary music that is played. He could also only wear silk because his skin was so sensitive, and he could only eat bland food. He and his sister have the most pale skin and unhealthy hair, which is all a direct cause from being products of incest.

The house is always being referred to as alive, and throughout the story different parts of the house are being talked about as though they are body parts of a human. "Minute fungi overspread the whole exterior," just as a disease or an illness would overcome a human body...

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