The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

1223 Words5 Pages
To begin with, Poe has carefully tailored the narrative in a manner to fit the theory of single effect. The unnamed narrator suggests that his main job is to narrate. His logical treatment and explanation of what happens throughout the story adds plausibility and credibility to the narrator. Darrel Abel described the narrator as “Anthropos” for he, the narrator, remains “uncharacterized, undescribed and even unnamed” (177). Although the reader does not know much about him, the attention is fully drawn instead to the strangeness in the House of Usher and the horror tour inside the house. Poe builds a strong connection between the narrator and the reader, “The reader represents Poe’s ideal narrator, and Poe’s narrator represents his ideal…show more content…
Poe’s psychological approach to the story makes the connection between the reader and the narrator stronger and shows the strategy that Poe adopted in conveying the feelings from the text into the reader’s mind. Thus, what the reader experiences in the process of reading the text reveals exactly what happens to the narrator. In return, what happens to the narrator suggests the process the reader undergoes in the reading of Poe’s story: “The reader becomes an active mediator containing the psychological effects of the story’s utterance, so the narrator’s imagination records a series of psychological effects that constitute the action of Poe’s text” (Bieganowski 178).
The second element that Poe dedicates to achieving unity of effect is setting. Much of the horror in “The Fall of the House of Usher” is achieved through its gloomy setting. The story opens with a grim start: "During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher” (Poe 117).
Poe wastes no time putting the reader in front of the image of an eerie, old mansion. As a result, the reader will soon be aware of a sense of death and decay. Poe’s setting plants the seed of horror
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