Fear in The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

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Fear in The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe used fear to attract his readers into his gothic world. Poe realized that fear intrigues as well as frightens, and sew it as a perfect motif for many of his stories, particularly The Fall of the House of Usher. Poe emphasized the mysterious, desolate, and gloomy surroundings throughout the story to set up the fear that got the reader involved. Then he extended the fear to the characters in order to reveal the importance of facing and overcoming fear. Poe suggested in the story that the denial of fears can lead to madness and insanity. This has clearly shown through the weakening of Roderick Usher's mind and the resulting impact on the narrator of the story.

In the beginning of the story, Poe used images and descriptions to create a gothic picture of the Usher mansion and to set up a sense of fear and terror. The narrator looked "upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain - upon the bleak walls - upon the vacant eye-like windows - upon a few rank sedges" and was disturbed. Once he saw these depressing characteristics of the house, he had an idea as to what he would find inside.

Upon entering the dark and dismal house, the narrator was joined with Roderick Usher. Shocked by the appearance of his companion from early childhood, the narrator explained, "I gazed upon him with a feeling half of pity, half of awe. Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher!" Through conversation with his childhood friend, the narrator finally discovered the true source of Roderick's illness and sickly appearance. Usher said, "I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I...

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...fear can be beneficial because it can produce a sense of knowledge and courage if it is faced. Poe was advising readers not to retreat in the face of fear. He also showed that fear could be passed on to others. Ultimately, the story proves that fears must be recognized in order to be overcome.

Edgar Allan Poe first used gothic images to set up the fear in his story, The Fall of the House of Usher. Then he continued with the fear of Roderick Usher which was soon passed on to the narrator, this kept the story revolving around the realm of fear. Poe was familiar with the operation of the mind, and he realized the horror- appeal present in human thought. Therefore, he used the element of fear in this story to keep the readers involved. In the end, Poe demonstrated his point that fears should not be allowed to linger because things will only end up disastrous.
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