Edgar Allan Poe once said that “all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” This eerie, dream view on life is explained in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” In this story, a mysterious narrator visits an old friend. However, it symbolizes Poe himself going to destroy his own issues, which is represented by his friend, Roderick. He manages to explain this by using symbolism, tone and mood, and language to his advantage.
When writing “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe used the setting outside of the mansion to illustrate the theme of the fear of death. From the outset, the Rodrick Usher’s home is portrayed in a way that gives the reader a feeling of alarm. For example, the narrator mentions the house gives him a feeling of “insufferable gloom” (Usher 1). By pointing this out, the reader begins to feel on edge as the connotation of “gloom” is unwelcoming and distressing. The home is also said to have “vacant eye like windows” (Usher 1) which make the narrator
The Usher mansion is slowly deteriorating, just like Roderick Usher himself. The “sombre tapestries,” “ebon blackness,” and “phantasmagoric armorial trophies” did not just start showing in the house; these elements have had time to develop and is now represented as a never ending darkness, which is just like Roderick Usher’s mental illness. Not only does Poe create an image of the house, he also uses lucid details describing the Usher’s mansion and the rooms inside the home to show that Roderick’s mental illness has physically and mentally trapped him. Roderick is a gloomy and mysterious character who looks as if he is dead. Poe describes Roderick’s appearance as one to not easily be forgotten (Poe 152). In Roderick’s mind, he feels as if he has no escape from this illness, which terrifies him. His biggest fear is fear himself. The evil that has overcame his body will take a toll on his life and he is aware of it because he says “I shudder at the thought of any, even the most trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul. I have, indeed no abhorrence of danger, except in it absolute effect-in terror” (Poe 153). As described in the story, the Usher house has rooms that create a somber life and with this creation, Poe is able to portray the kind of life that Roderick Usher is living and will live. Not only is this technique used in “The Fall of the House of
Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, sets a tone that is dark, gloomy, and threatening. His inclusion of highly descriptive words and various forms of figurative language enhance the story’s evil nature, giving the house and its inhabitants eerie and “supernatural” qualities. Poe’s effective use of personification, symbolism, foreshadowing, and doubling create a morbid tale leading to, and ultimately causing, the fall of (the house of) Usher.
Edgar Allan Poe was a unique man that most people could not understand. Many recognize that he is a talented writer with a very strange and dark style. One of his most well known short stories is “The Fall Of The House Of Usher.” Many argue the different meanings of this story and how it is symbolic to his life. Poe was a very confused individual who needed to express himself, he accomplished this through the short story of “The Fall Of The House Of Usher.” Through this story, Edgar was trying to show the fear he had for him self, he did not understand him self so therefore Poe ran from his own personality and mind. This story enables the reader to take a look at Poe’s mind and
The Fall Of The House of Usher is a terrifying tale of the demise of the Usher family, whose inevitable doom is mirrored in the diseased and evil aura of the house and grounds. Poe uses elements of the gothic tale to create an atmosphere of terror. The decaying house is a metaphor for Roderick Usher’s mind, as well as his family line. The dreary landscape also reflects his personality. Poe also uses play on words to engage the reader to make predictions, or provide information. Poe has also set the story up to be intentionally ambiguous so that the reader is continually suspended between the real and the fantastic.
“The Fall of the House of Usher (1939)”, arguably Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short story, is a tale centered around the mysterious House of Usher and its equally indiscernible inhabitants. These subjects are plagued with physical and mental degradation – the Usher siblings suffer from various abnormal ailments and unexplained fears, while the house itself seems to be tethering on the edge of collapse. The gothic elements in the story are distributed generously, and the plot is increasingly ridden with the supernatural as it progresses.
The narrator goes on to comment about how the scenery provided “an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart”(Poe 3). This is the beginning of a depressive episode in the narrator that most readers might overlook. The dreariness and decaying state of The House of Usher, a home he
Internationally known romantic author Edgar Allan Poe has always represented darkness, madness, and death in his stories. With these representations, Poe must provide this mood for the reader to become engulfed in the madness. In his tale “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe uses descriptive details about the dull color and ruggedness of the house and the Ushers themselves to set a gloomy mood. He also describes in detail Roderick Usher’s descent into madness and his fearfulness of death. In turn, he depicts brightly colored chambers in “The Masque of the Red Death,” but the arrangement of colors provides a chaotic
Hence, Poe appropriates a setting that seems to contaminate the characters. Just as the atmosphere and landscape seem translated into the characters, the house, as another primary feature of setting, functions as a symbol for the Usher family. The narrator even mentions initially that “House of Usher” had come to represent both family and home. Therefore, the house itself can be seen as an embodiment of the family. Poe emphasizes this symbolism by personifying the house, providing it with the anatomy of humans: “eye-like windows” and clothing: a “veil.” Moreover, the house is deteriorating just as the family is. The Ushers, Roderick and his sister Madeline, have no relatives, only themselves, and both are suffering with unusual illness. Finally, after Roderick and Madeline die, likewise the house completely breaks apart, characterizing the fate of the family.
After evaluating the work of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, he utilizes with imagery to build up the feeling of terror. First of all, the passage is about an ill man, Roderick Usher, who invites his old friend of his to come meet him. In this passage both him and his sister, Madeline Usher, are the last remaining of the Usher race and is diagnosed with an unnatural illness. The narrator begins to feel terror with the supernatural things going on in the house of Usher and the illness of the Ushers. Although the narrator feels the sense of terror from the moment he entered the house, through the use of imagery, Poe is able to bring emotion to the reader. Throughout the passage, the author continues to build up the sense of terror by asserting the image and setting of both the passage and the atmosphere. For instance, he starts the passage by stating “a dull, dark, and a soundless day...clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens” (Poe 194). In relation to the previous quote, the quote illustrates the image of the atmosphere and the setting of the story. In particular, because Poe expresses the sense of terror by describing the atmosphere as dark, quiet, and gloomy, the reader can get an image of the surroundings and get the feeling of the darkness and horror. In addition, according to Poe, during the first glimpse of the house of Usher, the narrator describes it as gloomy and unpleasant. In particular, Poe states “the shades of the evening drew on… a sense of insufferable gloom” (Poe 194). Additionally, the description of the house adds on to the sense of terror that Poe established in the beginning of the story. Based on the past two quotes stated by the author, the reader can begin to picture a dark and dull day with a gloomy house adding on to the darkness. Lastly, in regards to Edgar Allan Poe, the house of Usher is
For it is only within the context of this nightmare that one can explain why “Usher,” occupies such an important place in the 19th century development of the Gothic genre. With great attention to economy of expression and unity of effect, this pattern would be revisited by countless other Gothic stylists” (Dougherty 6). This means that Poe used the fantasy of impending doom in “The Fall of the House of Usher” to change it from being just an upper class dream, to a tale of horror which brought together some of the political situations in the nineteenth century such as those of race and class. Hawthorne and Poe successfully incorporated gothic elements in their writing which provides greater insight to the meaning and interpretation of their works.
The Fall of the House of Usher is a story “of sickness, madness, incest, and the danger of unrestrained creativity. This is among Poe's most popular and critically-examined horror stories” (Gordon). For example if you were to close your eyes while someone was reading the story you would see the house “decaying” in your imagination (Poe). From the start of the story the narrator’s strange “insufferable gloom” is introduced. He notes the darkness of his surrounding (Gordon). The stories are very deeply described and felt.
“The Haunted Palace” is one of Edgar Allen Poe’s mysterious and phantasmagoric poems. Written in the same year as “The Devil in the Belfry,” and included in his short story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Haunted Palace” is another tale of innocence and happiness now corroded with sorrow and madness. It is fairly easy to say that “The Haunted Palace” is a metaphor for Poe’s own ghostly troubled mind, more than it is about a decaying palace. For in 1839, it was found in a book that the main character in “The Fall of the House of Usher” comes across. In the context of its appearance in “Usher,” it is startlingly clear that this is no fable of earthly decay, but one of mental and spiritual ruin.
Faithful to the principles of the author, the first detailed words of description of the setting announce the decadent character of the composition- “All the main lines of action are supported by a systematic elaboration of detail” (Robinson, 79). The Fall of the House of Usher begins with the description of the place where all the facts of the story will develop: “It was a dark and soundless day near the end of the year, and clouds were hanging low in the heavens… through country with little life or beauty; and in the early evening I came within view of the House of Usher” (Poe, 22). At exterior levels, the presence of a crack crosses the whole structure of the house: “a crack making its way from the top down the wall until it became lost in the dark waters of the lake.” (Poe, 23). The dark aspect is present in the obscure interiors of the house: “Dark covering hung upon the walls. The many chairs and tables had been used for a long,