preview

Imagry in the Fall of the House of Usher

Satisfactory Essays
Imagry in the Fall of the House of Usher

Imagery in "The Fall of the House of Usher" The description of the landscape in any story is important as it creates a vivid imagery of the scene and helps to develop the mood. Edgar Allan Poe is a master at using imagery to improve the effects of his stories. He tends to use the landscapes to symbolize some important aspect of the story. Also, he makes use of the landscape to produce a supernatural effect and to induce horror. In particular, Poe makes great use of these tools in "The Fall of the House of Usher." This story depends on the portrayal of the house itself to create a certain atmosphere and to relate to the Usher family. In "The Fall of the House of Usher," Edgar Allan Poe uses the landscape to develop an atmosphere of horror and to create corollary to the Usher family. Poe uses the life-like characteristics of the house as a device for giving the house a supernatural presence. The house is described as having somewhat supernatural characteristics. The windows appear to be "vacant" and "eye-like" (1462). The strange nature of the house is further explained as around the mansion, "…there hung an atmosphere peculiar to themselves and their immediate vicinity." (1462). This demonstrates that the house and its surroundings have an unusual and bizarre existence. Upon entering the house, the narrator views some objects, such as the tapestries on the walls and the trophies, fill him with a sense of superstition. He describes the trophies as "phantasmagoric" (1462). He further explains that the house and the contents were the cause of his feelings.

He describes his superstition one night, "I endeavored to believe that much, if not all of what I felt, was due to the phantasmagoric influence of the gloomy furniture of the room…" (1468). Hence, Poe makes use of the house to create a supernatural effect. Likewise, Poe describes the house to create a terrifying effect. "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a horror story. In order to develop a mood to get the reader frightened, Poe must portray the setting of the story. The house is described initially by the narrator, who sees the image of the house as a skull or death’s head looming out of the dead. He is not sure what to think and comments of the properties of the old house: "What was it, I paused to think, what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the house of Usher?