THE Haunted Palace

994 Words4 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe once said, “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity” (Cummings). Poe’s somewhat pessimistic outlook on life can be found in many of his writings as a theme. “The Fall of the House of Usher,” published by the afore mentioned pessimist in 1839, is a short story about the master of a mansion, Roderick Usher, who suffers mental deterioration caused by his paranoia. His paranoia causes him to defile the mansion’s residents and also leads to the decay of the mansion itself. In the story, Usher recites the poem “The Haunted Mansion.” It is a poem about a palace, once glorious and mighty, becomes “pallid” and “desolate.” At first glance, it may appear to the reader that this is the true meaning of the poem and all that Poe had sought to express. After analyzing the poem though, Its meaning becomes apparent. It is really an allegory about the human mind and how it can become corrupt by paranoia and the delusion of evil. Poe uses several literary devices help the audience understand this allegory. The first and most abundant of these devices used by Poe is personification. The fourth line of the poem reads “Radiant palace- reared its head”. In this part of the poem, the author is clearly hinting at the poems greater meaning. Although it is the palace that is given the human trait of having a head, the true meaning here is rather that the palace is a head. Harold Bloom, professor of humanities at Yale graduate school, said “rearing its head… is an elaborate conceit for the human mind, the place where consciousness dwells”. As the poem goes on more personification can be found. In the fourth stanza, it describes “A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty was but to sing”. The echoes inside the palace would be the thoughts inside the head. Here the thoughts are described as being organized and pleasing, representing the sanity of the mind (Cummings).
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