"The Fall of the House of Usher" is a great example of a story on the basic level of a gothic horror, in which the element of fear is evoked in its highest form. There are many different elements, such as setting, feelings, themes, and characters, that play an essential role in suggesting this. One of the greatest aspects of Poe's writings is that he makes the reader actually experience the feelings of his characters. As in many "scary stories" the characters start doubting themselves and those around them. Everyone has been in a situation where they know something is not quite right and immediately paranoia sets in.
Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1969. Martin, Robert A., ed. Arthur Miller. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1982. Miller, Arthur.
Hawthorne. Ed. A.N. Kaul. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.
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.
In the short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe, diction is extensively used to create an air of suspense. Poe’s use of diction along with symbolism contributes to establishing a mood of despair. By using symbolic comparison between the Ushers and their house, the story’s suspense builds and the characteristics of the Ushers are portrayed. Poe’s cunning tactics are evident in the way he achieves a story of both suspense and horror. In “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Poe’s use of dark, descriptive words allow him to establish an eerie mood.
2 Feb. 2000 Thompson, G. R. "Explained Gothic ["The Fall of the House of Usher"]. Critical Essay on Edgar Allan Poe. Madison: ed. rev. University of Wisconsin Press,1973:142-151.