Roderick And His House

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Heather Harris English III Mr. Reeves 31 March 2011 Roderick and His House Edgar Allan Poe is the master of the macabre. His stories are well-remembered for the images of darkness and death they all contain. As a romantic writer, Poe focuses on the emotion and the imagination of dismal situations. In his short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” Edgar Allan Poe personifies the dark decaying “Usher” house as a manifestation of the deteriorating mental, physical, and emotional state of Roderick himself. The story begins with a striking example of personification as the narrator comes upon the “Usher” house. He describes how chilling the windows look, as if they were expressionless eyes peering out over the dreariness of the day. He uses this description to show that the house has seen everything that has led to the fall of itself and its master, Roderick Usher. The narrator describes that “the eye, however, struggled in vain to reach the innermost angles of the chamber within Roderick’s mind, or the recesses of the vaulted and fretted ceiling.” The narrator refers to his own eve inside the house, attempting to make a comparison between his eyes, and the windows of the house itself. He goes on to reason within himself how such an ordinary objects could depress a soul in such a way as the “Usher” mansion had done with him. Roderick was emotionally and physically depressed and was described as a madman more accurately as the story reaches a close. He was convinced that his whole surroundings, the stones of the house, the fungi, the water in the tarn, and the very house in its entirety was woven into a single physical entity with the family, condensed, as it were, into one atmosphere-the special atmosphere which seemed to be created solely as a place for the Ushers to live. And it was this atmosphere which had molded the destinies of demise for his
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