Summary Of ' The Fall Of The House Of Usher '

1173 Words5 Pages
Ashanti Bennett
Dr. Amy Hudock
9 November 2014
Gullah Superstitions: “The Fall of the House of Usher”
Superstitions are a mysterious part of any culture, and those mysteries greatly influence mysterious writers. Edgar Allen Poe, one of the most famous mysterious authors, use the many mysterious encounters he faced as an asset for his short stories. A major influence was his time in Charleston, South Carolina, where he learned of the many superstitions and rituals of both the blacks and the whites of the area. His interests in horrific rituals like premature burials and zombication (which mainly involves voodoo, familiar to the Lowcountry Gullah culture) helped him to write horrific short stories, like “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Poe’s gory and eerie setting of the house itself and the off-putting characteristics of the Usher siblings expressed Poe’s knowledge of paranoia and interest of the “living dead,” which comes in the weird rituals of the Gullah culture.

When Poe arrived in Charleston, he had a chance to experience plenty of virtues that the area had to offer; however I feel that his main interests were in the mysteries and superstitions of the Lowcountry. A select few of those mysterious rituals and superstitions come from the Gullah culture. The Gullah people derived from the West African slaves that were transported to the Charles Towne colony, and they date back as far as the early 1700s. They became their own heritage by combining the
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