Fall of the House of Usher Literary Analysis Essay

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Literary Analysis
As with many of Edgar Allan Poe's pieces, "The Fall of the House of Usher" falls within the definition of American Gothic Literature. According to Prentice Hall Literature, American Gothic Literature is characterized by a bleak or remote setting, macabre or violent incidents, characters being in psychological or physical torment, or a supernatural or otherworldly involvement (311). A story containing these attributes can result in a very frightening or morbid read. In all probability, the reason Poe's stories were written in this fashion is that his personal life was fraught with depression, internal agony, and despair. Evidently this is reflected in "The Fall of the House of Usher." Conjointly, Edgar Allan Poe's "The
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"The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon the carpet of the same material and hue. ... The panes were scarlet—a deep blood color.... There was no light of any kind... but in the western or black chamber the effect of the firelight that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme,” (“The Masque” 342). Poe brilliantly uses color to achieve the desired mood. The color black often represents melancholy or death. Scarlet, of course, exhibits the color of blood. Poe exploits the use of these two colors, black and scarlet, to create a feeling of macabre.
Violent or macabre incidents are often used in American Gothic Literature to present imposing, though quite unsettling, portraits of the human experience by way of terror. Poe accomplishes this in “The Fall of the House of Usher” at what time Madeline Usher reappears at the end of the story, covered in blood and kills Roderick Usher. “There was blood upon her white robes, and the evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated frame. For a moment she remained trembling and reeling to and fro upon the threshold—then, with a low moaning cry, fell heavily inward upon the person of her brother, and in her violent and now final death agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to
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