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The Somber and Dark Tone of The Fall of the House of Usher

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The Somber and Dark Tone of The Fall of the House of Usher

The work of Edgar Allan Poe is notoriously morbid and terror-provoking. Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”, with its melancholically eerie tone, is undoubtedly a prime example of such writing. Much effort within the literary world has been devoted to the analysis and critique of Poe’s compositions. Among those to study and analyze Poe’s work is J.O. Bailey. Bailey’s argument concerning Poe’s underlying objective is valid and presented effectively in the article entitled “What Happens in ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’”; but this short story can rationally be interpreted in alternative ways, thus suggesting Poe intends the piece to be more universally applicable than Bailey asserts.

Bailey essentially declares the entire short story is rooted in vampirism, suggesting Poe presents the actual House and the Usher’s themselves as vampires. As Bailey explains, Poe’s description of characters, particularly that of Roderick and Madeline, provide striking evidence of vampiric activity. Among the multiple connections B...

... middle of paper ... a direct and limited interpretation such as that of vampirism but rather in the portrayal of the story’s overwhelmingly somber and dark tone.

Works Cited

Bailey, J.O. “What Happens in ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’?”. American Literature 35.4 (1964): p 445-466. 5 Nov. 2002 .
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction Fourth Edition. New York: Norton Inc., 1990. 1390-1405.


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