"The Fall Of The House Of Usher" By Edgar Allen Poe: Imagery And Parallelism

1500 words - 6 pages

In his short story "The Fall of the House of Usher", Edgar Allen Poepresents his reader with an intricately suspenseful plot filled with aforeboding sense of destruction. Poe uses several literary devices, among themost prevalent, however are his morbid imagery and eerie parallelism. Hidden inthe malady of the main character are several different themes, which are allslightly connected yet inherently different.Poe begins the story by placing the narrator in front of the decrepit,decaying mansion of Roderick Usher. Usher summoned his childhood friend, thenarrator, to his home by sending a letter detailing only a minor illness.After the narrator arrives and sees the condition of the house he becomesincreasingly superstitious. When the narrator first sees his host he describeshis morbid appearance and it arouses his superstition even more. Over a periodof time the narrator begins to understand his friends' infliction, insanity. Hetries in vane to comfort his friend and provide solace, however to no avail.When Roderick's only remaining kin, his sister Madeline dies, Rodericks insanityseems to have gone to a heightened level. Shortly after his sister's death,Roderick's friend is reading him a story. As things happen in the story,simultaneously the same description of the noises come from within the house.As Usher tries to persuade the narrator that it is his sister coming for him,and his friend believing Roderick has gone stark raving mad, Madeline comesbursting in through the door and kills her brother. The narrator flees from thehouse, and no sooner does he get away than he turns around and sees a fissure inthe houses masonry envelop the house and then watch the ground swallow up theremains.In "The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe introduces the reader to threecharacters; Lady Madeline, Roderick Usher, and the narrator, whose name is nevergiven. Lady Madelin, the twin sister of Roderick Usher, does not speak one wordthroughout the story. In fact she is absent from most of the story, and she andthe narrator do not stay together in the same room. After the narrators arrivalshe takes to her bed and falls into a catatonic state. He helps to bury her andput her away in a vault, but when she reappears he flees. Before she was buriedshe roamed around the house quietly not noticing anything, completely overcomeby her mental disorder.Roderick Usher appears to be an educated man. He comes from a wealthyfamily and owns a huge library. According to the narrator, he had once been anattractive man and "the character of his face had been at all times remarkable"(Poe, 126). However , his appearance had deteriorated over time. Roderick'saltered appearance probably was caused by his insanity. The narrator notesvarious symptoms of insanity from Roderick's behavior. Roderick's state worsensthroughout the story as he becomes increasingly restless and unstable,especially after the burial of his sister. He find himself unable to sleep andalso finds that he hears noises....

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