1. The details in the story seemed realistic. But the outcome seems too perfect. Even the symbols between the family and the house fit together just right, reminding us that the story isn’t as realistic as the descriptions that are given. Poe is able to give such detailed descriptions that seem to be real, but again all the pieces fitting together shows the planning of this story. The narrator describes rotting shrubs and trees to really explain the dreariness and eeriness of the house and even this situation.
He even compares the house’s windows to human eyes, saying they are eye-like. The narrator explains the Usher family is “ancient” and describes the house as having original antiquities but the condition of the stone was crumbling and the discoloration showed how the house has aged over the years. It’s apparent that the house’s condition is very similar to Roderick and Madeline Ushers condition. It’s apparent that when the narrator refers to the “House of Usher” he is referring to not only the house but also the family that lives within.
So the house is also a symbol for the Usher’s.
Even when the narrator describes the house’s reflection in the shallow pool the house looking as though it is upside down relates to the relationship between Roderick and Madeline. As the story continues the narrator seems to be drawn to Roderick not being able to leave the house until it collapses. Roderick has not left the house for a long time due to his fear, its almost like a bigger force is keeping them there, the force of the house maybe. 2. I feel as though many of the descriptions Poe gives are meant to be literally and have symbolic meaning.
When he speak of the House of Usher he is talking about the Usher family and the house itself. When Poe describes Roderick you get the sense that him and the house are similar in many ways and are connected. The poem “The Haunted Palace” seems to be a symbol for the pending doom upon Roderick and the house itself. Even “Mad Trist” was a symbol for his sister being buried alive in the tomb like the hermit. From the noises of his sister clawing her way out of the tomb compares to the shrieking of the dragon. Even a crashing sound is heard in the house, as there is the same sound in the book.
Poe using doubling not only with characters but also with inanimate objects such as the house. The crack in the house symbolizes the split personalities of Roderick and his twin. I think that Roderick predicts his own death and there is a lot of foreshadowing of his upcoming demise. The tomb he buries his sister in symbolizes her being trapped by the inseparable bond between her and her brother. Even when they lay her to rest the narrator says she has a faint smile across her face, maybe because she is not dead or it is foreshadowing of her coming back for her brother. 3. The narrator is a child hood friend of Roderick Usher.
In the beginning of the story it is quite clear that the two haven’t seen each other in a very long time. The narrator knows very little of his friend and doesn’t even know he has a twin sister. There is no mention of where the story takes place or when, or why it was the narrator Roderick wrote to. I feel as though Poe does this all intentionally. For one to add to the suspense and mystery of the whole story. Second is to make the reader question why Roderick has asked the narrator to come, of all the people to ask why him?
I feel as though the narrator was as involved as the named narrator in “the Cask of Amontillado. In the Cask of Amontillado the narrator remains calm the whole time where in the Black Cat the narrator was on edge. Not being named just adds a mystery and uncertainty for what lies ahead. 4. Madeline is not only Roderick’s twin, but she is everything he is not. Her sickness is even the opposites of Roderick’s. His being of the mind and her being of her body. Each twin possesses a piece of the sickness. When Roderick explain that her sickness is the true origin of his fear it is apparent that both of them would die from this sickness that has been passed down from generation to generation.
The narrator tells Roderick he is hearing things, natural phenomena’s. Once Madeline is buried the crack in the house becomes bigger, by widening. I think Madeline falling on her brother signified the fall of their family lineage and their house. Both the Usher’s and the house fall. Roderick doesn’t attempt to save Madeline because he is scared for she might retaliate. 5. I feel as though the poem had great significance. Not only did it bring to light the reason for Roderick never leaving the house but also Roderick’s biggest weakness, fear. It was a symbol for Roderick and his own home.
It was a metaphor for what is happening in the story. The poem describes a person who has gone mad. In the beginning it describes the head of a person and how it once used to be held high and noble but due to being mad this is no longer true. The next paragraph describes the person’s hair being golden, but again mentioning that this was a long time ago. When the author says, “Through two luminous windows, saw spirits moving musically” the author is talking about a person’s eyes who may see things others cannot. The following paragraph describes someone voice that was more beautiful than that of the king.
The last two paragraphs describes this madness that this person has been enduring until every good thing in this person has diminished and become pure madness. In the end of the poem it is apparent that this person is completely mad and nothing that they used to be exists, even the appearance of the person has changed. The events that happened in the poem directly relate to Roderick and his house. His self-inflicted torment of fear has driven him to go mad and completely change in not only his mental state but his physical state as well.
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