Fall of the "House"

1491 Words Jun 23rd, 2018 6 Pages
“I must perish in this deplorable folly” (Poe par. 11). With this statement, Roderick Usher seems to be both accepting and sealing his fate. The “House of Usher” was once a mighty and well-respected family, but it has now dwindled down into almost nonexistence. Twins Roderick and Madeline are all that survive of this once proud race. A summons from Roderick to the unknown narrator of this story, a childhood friend of Roderick, sets the events in motion. He speaks of an illness and mental disorder which has become a great burden on him, and he wishes for the company of his dearest friend to help comfort and give “some alleviation of his malady” (Poe par. 2). As the narrator arrives at the family mansion, he is struck by the aura of “gloom” …show more content…
It can also be understood that since they share this bond, they shall also suffer the same fate. Kathleen Wilson states the house as “isolated, decayed and full of the atmosphere of death… represent[ing] the dying Usher family” (56). Once the last surviving members of the family die, the house will lose all importance and meaning, dying away along with its inhabitant. However, what happens when a bond between house and family becomes so strong? From what Poe has written, it seems as though they begin to possess a single soul. After the completion of their ballad, Roderick tells the narrator that he believes in the “sentience of all vegetable things” (Poe par. 19). In other words, he believes that all things, no matter how primitive, have some sort of conscious understanding. Now that the only surviving members of the Usher race are twins Madeline and Roderick, the house itself senses it is in danger of becoming extinct and takes control. It traps Roderick and pushes him to continue the family line with his sister, allowing the “House of Usher” to continue on surviving. Roderick even develops an “acute bodily illness… which oppressed him” (Poe par. 2).
He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses. The most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odors of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds,