The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe

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The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe Symbols and imagery of horror and death in a story touch the reader like a fingertip against a chord and can make the heart resonate with fear and woe as the suspended lute with tone. The verbal illustration that is used in the opening phrase in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" is as strong as the imagery of dismay utilized throughout the rest of the story, like the dark and gloomy house. The vivid colors and visuals in the story not only force the reader to picture the surroundings in his or her mind, but also contain the hidden connotations of gravity and despair. The inclusion of sounds, like the "distinct, hollow, metallic, and clangorous, yet apparently muffled reverberation," (Poe 27) and aural references to musical instruments, such as the lute quote by De Béringer suggests that the reader experience the mood of the tale in a more auditory and sensory appealing fashion. The mood of the story is one of horror that is set up by visual and aural stimulation and is well used in the tale of Roderick Usher. As in many of Poe's stories, the colors and images that describe the setting and characters are not only visually stimulating but carry dark connotations that give the story‚s horror more depth and feeling. The tale of the narrator‚s trip to the House of Usher begins with an eerie depiction of the building and its surroundings, the overview of the setting, "a scene in which decay and death are the presiding elements" (P.Quinn 85). In "A Key to the House of Usher," Darrel Abel notes that the description of the setting serves two purposes: ...to suggest a mood to the observer which makes him properly receptive to the horrible ideas which grow in his... ... middle of paper ... ...g of fright and shock. "If ever a mortal painted an idea, that mortal was" (21) Edgar Allen Poe. Works Cited: Abel, Darrel. "A Key to the House of Usher." Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Fall of the House of Usher. Ed. Thomas Woodson. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1969. 43-55. Gordon, Caroline and Tate, Allen. "View Points." Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Fall of the House of Usher. Ed. Thomas Woodson. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1969. 27-30. Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Fall of the House of Usher." The Prentince Hall Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Ed. Gary G. Roberts. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001. 16-28. Quinn, Patrick F. "That Spectre in My Path." Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Fall of the House of Usher. Ed. Thomas Woodson. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1969. 82-90.
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