The Fall of the House of Usher Overview

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The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe is a short story centered on the central themes of the nature of the house and its inhabitants. The house is described as mysterious, decrepit, and haunted, with negative connotations attached to it. The characters of Roderick and Lady Madeline are introduced as sick and tortured, with their illnesses comparable to the state of the house. Poe uses these negative elements to set the mood of the story and create a sense of fear and impending doom. Overall, the story explores the theme of decay and the interconnectedness of the environment and the people within it.

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In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, the central themes revolve around both the house itself and its inhabitants. The house is described in a way that creates a mysterious aura, contributing to the narrative. Furthermore, the characters living in the house are consistently portrayed with shared traits, emphasizing their bleak circumstances. These parallels are intended to be contemplated by readers and add to a sense of unease. From the beginning, an unfavorable atmosphere is established through various techniques used to depict the house. Words and phrases such as “insufferable gloom,” “vacant,” “black and lurid,” and “rank sedges” convey darkness and foreboding. These descriptions evoke negative connotations or an ominous presence surrounding the house. Additionally, extensive decay and disintegration are emphasized by the author, suggesting problems that could lead to its ultimate destruction. Some interpretations even attribute gothic qualities to the house based on these descriptions.Moreover, the house is often described as “ghostly,” emphasizing its unsettling quality. Phrases such as “through many dark and intricate passages” and “ebon blackness” effectively establish the desired atmosphere. Furthermore, these expressions hint at an impending horrifying occurrence.

The house is connected to Roderick and Lady Madeline through a combination of factors, including their illnesses. When the narrator first sees Roderick after a long time, he compares his appearance to that of a corpse. Roderick explains that his ill looks are due to a morbid acuteness of the senses, which causes extreme sensitivity and torture-like experiences even from the slightest stimuli. This combination of symptoms presents a bleak picture. Interestingly, Roderick’s condition is similar to the decaying state of the house. Madeline is then introduced with an unknown illness that renders her unresponsive to external stimuli. After this brief introduction, she is never seen again by the narrator. The introduction of both characters, along with the descriptions of their illnesses, highlights a negative portrayal. Poe uses these negative elements to set a somber mood, mirroring the decaying state of both the house and its occupants.

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The Fall of the House of Usher Overview. (2018, Dec 02). Retrieved from

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