Setting In The Fall Of The House Of Usher

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Traditional Gothic writers based their works on several elements such as: horrendous incidents, tormented characters, supernatural occurrences, etc. However, one of the most important elements to these talented writers was setting. Setting may seem like a very straightforward literary term, but in reality, it has many layers which can convey many things to the reader. Two such Gothic writers that used setting to convey important ideas to the reader of their stories is: Joyce Oates, author of “Where is Here?” and Edgar Allan Poe, author of a horrendous story called “The Fall of The House of Usher”. Both writers use setting to: create a certain atmosphere, communicate the truths about their characters, and to foreshadow events. First, both…show more content…
An example is Roderick Usher 's mansion, the setting of the story. The narrator notices a "barely perceptible fissure" in the masonry of the mansion. It’s but a small crack in the House of Usher, but the narrator says it as "both the family and the family mansion" (Poe). This foreshadows a terrible event that will ruin not only the house, but the family as well. The fissure divides the house. When Roderick and his sister Madeline Usher die, it destroys the family, which ultimately destroys the mansion. The narrator says there is a "wild inconsistency between still perfect adaptation..and the crumbling condition of the individual stones” (Poe). The stones represent the individual people of the family that are slowly deteriorating away, and the entire mansion stands for the family as a whole. In “Where is Here?” the stranger comments on a part of the house that used to have a dark water stain when he was younger and it foreshadows the events that happen after he leaves. Oddly, when the stranger is finally gone, it has bad effects on the people and the house itself. “The patterned wallpaper seemed drained of color, a shadow lay upon it shaped like a bulbous cloud or growth”
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