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Analysis Of The Fall Of The House Of Usher

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The Industrial Revolution brought about a plethora of socioeconomic changes that forced the world to modernize from an agrarian based market system to one reliant on manufacturing. As a product of the quaint antebellum society in the South, Edgar Allan Poe looked upon the rapidly changing world with a great deal of anxiety and fear. In fact, his short story, The Fall of the House of Usher reflects some of these anxieties as the titular family, who represent the increasingly irrelevant aristocratic sector in the South, faces extinction in light of the modernizing ideology around them. Throughout the narrative, the speaker reiterates the Ushers’ inability to change and evolve, thus suggesting their resistance to Althusser’s idea of interpellation. Althusser argues that individuals become part of, or interpellated, into society once they have accepted their roles within the established ideology. The Usher family’s resistance to interpellation demonstrates a fear of extinction and an apprehension about progress, particularly as they refuse to integrate themselves into the world outside the Usher family home and immediately expire upon their interaction with an individual foreign to the ideology within the Usher home. The Usher family home is emblematic of past feudal—almost European—hierarchal systems in which nobility remained isolated from the peasantry. Before the narrator encounters a single member of the Usher family, he offers his reader a lengthy description of the Usher
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