Roderick Usher

734 Words3 Pages
During Edgar Allen Poe’s life he managed to make a name for himself, one that was much different then anyone else’s of his time. Despite living for only 40 years, the young genius was often times referred to as the “Tomahawk Man” for his voracious and critical reviews. Above all else, he is still considered today as the 19th century’s most prized possession for his poetry, literary reviews and tales of mystery and suspense. With many of his masterpieces still being read and celebrated today, Poe not only created remarkable works of art to read, but also very intrinsic, dark and often times irrational characters to share it with as well. In the gothic short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe creates the irrational character of Roderick Usher using his appearance, thoughts, and actions to his advantage. As depicted in the “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Roderick Usher is a very delirious and unstable-minded man. Although limited information is released to us as readers, we can clearly understand Roderick is unable to comprehend the state of his mental and physical health. Immediately as the short story is begun, Poe uses the exterior of Roderick’s home to describe what living conditions our character is dwelling in. As the un-named narrator approaches the un-kept mansion of his friend, he immediately notices the house’s “eye-like” windows and senses an uninviting feeling sweep over him. When the narrator is reunited with his childhood friend, Roderick, he is very pale, feeble and cadaverous looking. Poe describes the narrator’s experience of seeing Roderick again as “ . . .half in pity and half in awe. Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher!” Roderick is hardly cap... ... middle of paper ... ... he departs from the house, he peers back over his shoulder one last time to see the Usher family mansion crumbling to the ground, never to be seen again. Unlike most people, the narrator of the story seems to be perfectly at ease with the appearance, actions and thoughts of Roderick, which leads us as the readers to ask the begging question, “Was the un-named narrator just, if not more, irrational and insane as Roderick Usher himself”? Although we end the story with many questions, suspicions and uncertainty, this is the beauty of Poe’s writing, something many authors try to encompass in their writing still to this day. While analyzing and observing the appearance, thoughts and actions of Roderick Usher, we can ultimately thank and respect the mind of Edgar Alan Poe for giving us a high standard for literacy and short stories like “The Fall of the House of Usher”.
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