Analysis Of Edgar Allan Poe 's ' Fall Of The House Of Usher ' Essay

Analysis Of Edgar Allan Poe 's ' Fall Of The House Of Usher ' Essay

Length: 1466 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Few American writers can rival Edgar Allan Poe in the field of Gothic literature. His works embody the typical thought associated with this grotesque genre of writing: murder, insanity, illness, darkness, and much more. “The Fall of the House of Usher” incorporates all of these Gothic themes into what many critics consider a literary masterpiece, and I would have to agree with the masses when it comes to this tale. In a very brief summary of the aforementioned work, an unnamed narrator receives a letter from a childhood friend, Roderick Usher, explaining that he needs help fighting against a sickness. Upon arriving at the House of Usher, the narrator is overwhelmed with dread and gloom due to the ominous appearance of the mansion. The inside of the home does nothing to alleviate the melancholy mood of the friend as he is led into the chamber of Mr. Usher only to find him virtually unrecognizable from childhood. Roderick suffers from acuteness of the senses, so he can only wear certain clothes, hear particular sounds, eat specific foods, tolerate dim lighting, and smell few flowers. As a result, he is just a shadow of his former self, marked by little energy and nervousness. Roderick’s sister, Madeline, also suffers from an ailment. She is believed to have catalepsy, which causes one to lose muscular function. During the narrator’s stay, Madeline “dies” and is put in a tomb in the house. Seven or eight days later, both the storyteller and Roderick are struggling to get sleep, so the former decides to read “Mad Trist” to the latter in an effort to pass the time away. As the narrator reads the novel, he begins to hear sounds that correspond to the action that is taking place in the story. Initially, he dismisses this as mere coincide...


... middle of paper ...


...sick, leading to their death. Beyond that, the author uses a crack in the mansion to symbolize what inbreeding does to the family. It initially weakened the family with a tiny crack, but by the end of the story, the crack causes the whole house to crumble, coinciding with the collapse of the Usher name. Lastly, Roderick Usher is marked for his fearful demeanor. In fact, he is so ruined uby his anxiety, that he rightfully predicts that it will kill him. The remarkable attention to detail of Poe is evident in all three of these points. Using setting to promote the mood of a tale was probably less common in the 1800s than it is now. Also, his ability to develop characters in a short story is still a talent that we do not see much of today. Ultimately, “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a marvelous piece of Gothic literature that captures Edgar Allan Poe at his finest.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- In “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, the death of Madeline and Roderick Usher represents the ending of something, and in this specific case, the ending of a generation. Throughout the story, it is made very clear that Madeline and Roderick are the last living people of the Usher generation. Roderick Usher explicitly states on page four, “‘Her decease,’ he said, with a bitterness which I can never forget, ‘would leave him (him the hopeless and the frail) the last of the ancient race of the Ushers.’” Therefore, when they both die at the end, it is clear that it is the end of a generation....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher]

Better Essays
1400 words (4 pages)

The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- In the story “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Edgar Allan Poe presents the history of the extinction of an eminent family know as the Ushers. Similar to Poe’s other short stories and poems, the setting and tone fit in well for the whole story, as he describes the house and it’s occupants to appeal to the reader and give off the atmosphere of suspense and dread. This can best be seen first by considering Poe’s description of the house and comparing it to the residents of the mansion, Roderick and Madeline Usher....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher]

Better Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe

- The Fall of the House of Usher is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839. The story is centered around the house of Usher and its mysterious residents Roderick and Madeline Usher. The narrarator recieves a letter from Roderick stating that he is ill and is in desperate need of his help. Fear and evil are both very apparent themes throughout this story. The narrarator encounters the feeling of fear and evil upon first arriving to the house stating “with the first glimpse of the building a sense of insufferable gloom prevaded my spirit”....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher]

Better Essays
1157 words (3.3 pages)

The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- “The Fall of the House of Usher,” one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most prevalent works, manifests the descent into madness within an arguably supernatural residence through gothic fiction. A mental illness provokes Roderick Usher, one of the last two direct descendants of the Usher family, to call upon a companion in boyhood, the narrator, to supervise and nurture him and his sister throughout their illness. However, as the house manifests itself as a paranormal being enclosed in its own atmosphere, the descent of the Ushers is questioned by critics due to the marginal reliability of the narrator with possible mental deterioration in his mental being a possibility....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher]

Better Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- One of the most well-known writers of our time, “Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, on January 19, 1809, [being] the second of three children” (Bloom 149). After Poe’s mother passed and his father subsequently left, “the children [were then moved] to a different household of a Richmond merchant [by the name of] John Allan” (Bloom 149). Even though Poe was “not legally adopted, he is renamed as Edgar Allan” (Bloom 149). Through his lifetime of creative writing, Poe’s death remains a controversial discussion, nevertheless, Poe was and still is recognized for his great literary works ranging from symbolic gothic literature to poems....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher]

Better Essays
1073 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Double Meaning in The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

- Double Meaning in The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe If there is one thing that is widely agreed upon in regards to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” it is surely the fact that the short story is one of the greatest ever written. The very words that Poe selects and the manner in which he pieced them was nothing short of phenomenal. This however, is pretty much all that people are able to agree upon. Indeed, to almost everyone who reads it sees the story as great, but for different reasons....   [tags: The Fall Of The House Of Usher Edgar Allan Poe]

Better Essays
1545 words (4.4 pages)

Analysis Of Edgar Allan Poe 's ' The Fall Of The House Of Usher ' Essay

- Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are most famous for his gothic horror style of writings. He uses detailed description and allows the reader to focus and be more drawn into the story. Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren’s analysis of “The Fall of the House of Usher” talked about their version of the breakdown of the story. The tragedy of Usher didn’t have any suspense nor any understanding toward the character of Usher. The suspense was absent due to the hints provided for the instability of the house and the owner’s slow deteriorating health....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher]

Better Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)

The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe was published in 1839. In it, the short story’s narrator visits a childhood friend, Roderick Usher. The narrator travels to the Usher house, where the story takes place. As in other Poe stories, the settings reflect a character. Throughout the short story, there are many instances when the Usher house and Thought, the castle in Roderick’s poem, reflect Roderick Usher and his family. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the setting of the Usher house along with the setting in Roderick’s poem reflect Roderick Usher in appearances, relations with family, and physical existence....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe]

Better Essays
840 words (2.4 pages)

The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Set in a Gothic atmosphere, The Fall of the House of Usher, written by Edgar Allan Poe, dramatically portraits how the bloodline of the Ushers comes to an end. The story starts with an unnamed narrator, who apparently is a childhood friend of Roderick Usher— the head of the house— arriving by horseback. Roderick Usher wrote a letter to the narrator, asking the latter to visit him and help him with the agitation that he is undergoing. By the time he entered the mansion, the narrator finds out that Roderick is sick and anxious about something....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe]

Better Essays
715 words (2 pages)

The Fall Of The House Of Usher By Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- Setting can be one of the most significant aspects of nearly any text. Setting is one of many devices that authors use to set up not only the time and place of the story, but also the mood. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most notorious authors to use setting to give the story its mood, most often with fear. The Fall of the House of Usher is no different. Throughout the short story, Poe uses many literary devices, including setting, to help set the stage for the both fearful and melancholy plot. Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Fall of the House of Usher uses setting as an important literary device for several reasons, including the mood of the story, the communication process, and foreshadowing....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Fiction, Short story]

Better Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)