The Fall of the House of Usher Essay

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“The Fall of the House of Usher” is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839 and was written during the Romantic Period. The single effect is when every character, detail, and incident in a literary work contributes to a unique or “single effect” from the very first sentence on. In this particular short story, the single effect is gloom. Three of the characters in this short story express gloom in very distinct ways. They are Roderick Usher, Madeline Usher, and the Narrator. Roderick Usher is the last remaining male in the Usher household and he is gloomy in the story in a very unique way. He is described by the narrator to appear like a cadaver with pale, old, and wrinkly skin. A quote from the story would be “Yet the character of his face had been at all times remarkable. A cadaverous of complexion; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison.” This is gloomy because a cadaver looks similar to a dead person. Another example of Roderick’ gloominess is his excessive nervous agitation. This quote explains the example “I soon found this to arise from a series of feeble and futile struggles to overcome a habitual trepidancy - an excessive nervousness.” Gloom can be related to this by his dysfunction of the body which nobody would want to have. The man of the Usher bloodline is described as gloomy in this story. The last remaining woman of the house is Madeline Usher, who is on the verge of dying and inherits a considerable amount of gloom. She displays the single effect by having seizures that make her appear dead. “A settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and frequent although transient affections of a partially cataleptical character, were the unusual diagnosis.” This represents gloom because she is almost dead and there is no one to take care of her. Madeline is also gloomy by being buried alive. “We replaced and screwed down

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