Edgar Allan Poe Essay examples

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Short Stories + Terror = Poe American Romanticism brought a new era to America and American literature. Within literature of the Romanticism era came the development of the gothic novel. Edger Allen Poe is one of the well-known gothic authors which arose from this era. Throughout Poe’s career he wrote many short stories following one theory which he created - that every aspect of a short story should lead to one single effect. For Poe many of his stories have the single effect of terror. In Poe’s story “The Fall of the House of Usher” he creates the single effect of terror through his description of the house, the entombment of Madeline, and Madeline’s appearance at the end of the story. At the beginning of the story, the narrator…show more content…
Instead of burring her in the family cemetery far away from the house Roderick, Madeline’s brother decides to burry her beneath the house( 752). As the narrator describes, Madeline is placed in a vault which is “small, damp, and entirely without means of admission for light”(Poe 272). After Madeline is placed in the vault the lid of her coffin is “replaced and screwed down” and the iron door to the vault is secured. Madeline is now screwed alive into a coffin and locked into a dark vault. The mere thought of Madeline’s entombment should evoke terror into any reader. Finley Madeline’s appearance at the end of the story is the last and most crucial part in creating the story’s terror. Roderick and the narrator along with the reader have now assumed that Madeline is dead. While the narrator is reading to Roderick, he begins to hear noises that coincidently coincide with the actions in the story he is reading. The story is about to reach its climax when the narrator finds Roderick sitting in front of the room door mumbling. Before the narrator can figure out what Roderick is saying the bedroom door abruptly opens and Madeline appears in her white robes bloodied by her struggle, falling upon her brother to bring both of them to their deaths(Carpenter 753). In retrospect Poe creates a masterful terror in “The Fall of the House of Usher” through his description of the house, Madeline’s entombment and the crucial

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