The Fall of the House of Usher Essay

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EKAM-DICK MORGAN ENGLISH COMMENTARY KH The Fall of the House of Usher, E.A POE As a precursor of romanticism and an earliest devotee of the American movement, Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories are known to make the reader shudder. By exploring the wild and irrational through aesthetics, he conveys a sense of death and decay with Gothic elements such as inclement weather, barren landscape and a skillful use of suspense. The text under study, entitled the Fall of the House of Usher and written in 1839, tells the story of Mr Roderick Usher who resides in a depressing mansion and invites the narrator in the hope he would help him with his troubles. Indeed Mr Usher is borne out of his fear of death which is showed by his decaying sensibilities and sensitivity. Through Mr Usher’s madness, the narrator experiences the horror of a haunted mansion, pervaded by a sense of claustrophobia. The fear becomes more potent with the death of Mr Usher’s sister which triggers his own death and results in the Fall of the House of Usher. The passage is the opening page of the short story and rather unconventionally introduces us to the characters of the story and creates a fearful atmosphere. The style is vague which adds mystery and brings the reader to have a feeling of fear and loneliness as if he were dropped in the midst of nowhere. How Poe, through an internal focalization with a mysterious description of a mansion and ambiguous characters, sets the tone for a plot that continually blurs the real and the fantasy and achieves the quintessential gothic story? Dealing first with the peculiar setting of the atmosphere which builds up suspense and enhances the character’s mystery, I will then analyze the use of the narrative techniques which puts

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