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Essay about The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

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Alienation is a feeling of not belonging in society, caused by the general public’s or one’s own view of the world that causes a clash between what is considered good or bad—dissimilar or customary. Throughout the centuries, alienation has occurred constantly due to society’s fears of something or someone so dissimilar to what is considered part of the norm. And although there are two types of alienation—one that is self-decided and one that is forced upon by others—the negative results of it always remain the same. These harmful consequences as well as isolation itself is exposed and criticized in many works of literature, specifically: “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman. Whether it is self-decided or forced upon by others, in these mentioned works of literature, the idea that isolation will always end in tumultuous results greatly reinforces the fragility and the flaws of human nature as well as the negative factors of alienation itself.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the nameless narrator’s forced alienation ends in her demise, thereby proving the infirmity and imperfections of humans as well as the knowledge that alienation will only harm people. In the beginning of the story, the narrator, who is suffering from a post-partum depression, acts very demure with her husband and constantly lets him win their little tiffs and refuses to say “no more on that score” (Gilman 5), believing that since he is a man and she is a woman, he is allowed to control her anyway he deems necessary. This leads to her imprisonment to her room for most of the day and it slowly causes her to go insane because of her husband’s pride. Her husband keeps ins...


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...lienation is because of society’s fears of being confronted by something “alien” or “out of place” in their “normal” community. Thus, due to the clash between “good” and “bad”, alienation—the feeling of not belonging in the society one lives in—occurs.




Works Cited

“Of Mice and Men.” Novels for Students. Vol. 1. 1997. Print.

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1993. Print.

“The Yellow Wallpaper.” Short Stories for Students. Vol. 1. 1997. Print.

“The Fall of the House of Usher.” Short Stories for Students. Vol. 2. 1997. Print.

Mowery, Carl. “Short Stories for Students.” Ed.2. Kathleen Wilson. Detroit, MI: Gale Research,
1997. 58-62. Print.
“Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1899).” n.p. n.d. 30 May 2011.
“The Fall of the House of Usher.” The Literature Network. The Literature Network. 2011. 30
May 2011.


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