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Critical Essay on, "The Fall of the House of Usher."

analytical Essay
1221 words
1221 words
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He approached the house wearily, noting with growing horror its advanced, albeit subtle, state of decay; however the labyrinth of phantasm that composed its interior belied the crumbling edifice...

Poe's gothic tale has inspired generations of readers with his unique style of rich detail and sheer horror. In, “The Fall of the House of Usher” one finds the house mysteriously connected with its inhabitants. As they slowly fall into a state of decay, both mental and physical, so also does its structure weaken, eventually collapsing into the tarn in which it was standing, as its tenants fall prey to the strain of body and mind. Without them, the house cannot stand.

In the beginning of the story, Poe describes the bleak condition of the house, surrounded by twisted trees and sitting in a dark tarn. Its vacant, eyelike windows evoke a sense of horror at what might be watching, while its inhabitants slowly succumb to the shifting aura of phantasm that encompasses both edifice and interior. In his description of Roderick, Poe portrays a man in a highly nervous state, barely able to contain the inner terror he experiences at every turn. The web-like, aerial, almost unhuman hair is comparable to the webs of fungi on the walls of his house, and his deteriorating health can be traced to the crumbling of its walls. From the beginning, it is made clear that there is more than one tie linking the deteriorating mental and physical condition of the inhabitants to the slow decay of its foundations.

During his stay at the house of Usher, the narrator finds himself unable to draw his friend out of the abyss of misery in which he has enshrouded himself, both figuratively and literally. Admitting to his sister's approaching death being one of...

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... Fall of the House of Usher.”

Throughout the tale, one sees clearly the binding ties between house and inhabitants. What was once a proud family mansion is reduced to a crumbling house, whose inhabitants are scarcely less changed. From the wasting disease of the lady Madeline, to her brother's nervous affliction, one discerns a tangible connection with their dark family home. As it weakens, so also do both brother and sister diminish, until both finally perish in a horrible demise no less fantastic then that of their house. And it is these singular features which have contrived to brand the tale upon the mind of the reader, and so inspired generations of both readers and writers. There can be no doubt that future readers will also be inspired by this tale of the horror and mysterious connections between a house and its inhabitants, “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how poe's gothic tale "the fall of the house of usher" has inspired generations of readers with his unique style of rich detail and sheer horror.
  • Analyzes how poe describes the bleak condition of roderick's house, surrounded by twisted trees and sitting in a dark tarn, while its inhabitants succumb to the shifting aura of phantasm.
  • Analyzes how roderick is unable to draw his friend out of the abyss of misery in which he has enshrouded himself, both figuratively and literally.
  • Analyzes how roderick's mental condition deteriorates rapidly as he pacing about the dark house. the narrator tries to calm his nervous friend by reading a romance, but this only serves to increase his agitation.
  • Analyzes how the narrator is almost catatonic with the sheer horror evoked by the coincidences, yet swaying to and fro with a uniformity that bespeaks unconscious alarm.
  • Analyzes how the story of "the fall of the house of usher" has inspired generations of readers and writers.
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