"The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in September 1839 in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. It was slightly revised in 1840 for the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. It contains within it the poem "The Haunted Palace", which had earlier been published separately in the April 1839 issue of theBaltimore Museum magazine.
"The Fall of the House of Usher" Summary E
The narrator receives an odd letter from an old friend, Roderick Usher, requesting his presence. The content of the letter reveals that Usher is suffering from numerous illnesses, both mental and physical.
Roderick Usher and his twin sister Madeline are the last two Ushers in a long line of Ushers whose family tree has neverbranched. The phrase "House of Usher" refers to both the house and the family. Roderick excitedly welcomes the narrator. They talk. The narrator learns that Roderick's sister is near death. The narrator spends several days attempting to cheer up Roderick, but is unable. Roderick suggests it's the house that's making him sick, something which the narrator already suspected.
Madeline dies. Roderick putsher in a temporary tomb underneath the house, not wanting doctors to examine his dead sister. Over the next few days, Roderick's agitation grows. Unable to sleep, he approaches the narrator's room late at night. The narrator tries to calm Roderick by reading to him. As he reads, the narrator hears sounds that correspond to the story he is reading. Roderick claims to have heard those noises sinceMadeline's burial, which is standing at the door, bloodied after struggling out of her tomb.
Roderick dies from fear. The narrator escapes. The house crumbles into the tarn.
Interpretation of "The Fall of the House of Usher" D
Keep in mind that this interpretation of "The Fall of the House of Usher" is just one interpretation of "The Fall of the House of Usher."There are others.Interpretation #1 - Roderick attempts to murder his sister and sends for the narrator to strengthen him in the days leading up to it. Here's my evidence:
Roderick is nuts. Crazy people do things like kill their twin sister.
There is evidence of incest, something which Roderick may regret. Killing a twin may be symbolic (to crazy Roderick) of killing his evil side. Roderick probably notices the deterioratingcondition of the Usher line and wishes it to end.
Madeline has an illness that makes her appear dead for long periods of time. Roderick knows she has this illness and may be waiting for the perfect time to accomplish his task.
Roderick notifies nobody about Madeline's apparent death. He gives the flimsy "I don't want scientists conducting experiments on her body when she dies" excuse.Madeline's cheeks are rosy, a sign that she is still alive, especially considering the nature of her illness.
Roderick hears Madeline, yet does nothing to release her from the coffin.
We'll begin our "Fall of the House of Usher" analysis with an overview of the story's main elements. C
Setting and Mood: the story's central feature is its ominous mood established by its dreary setting. The story'sopening packs a gloomy punch: "During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher." The house's melancholy surroundings arematched by the mansion's interior, highlighted by labyrinthine hallways, closterphobic rooms, and a tomb in the basement. The paintings on the wall and books on the shelf contribute to the mansion's Gothic feel.
Word Choice: Poe establishes the mood with specific word choice (some examples are highlighted in the above passage and in the passage that follows): "There was an iciness, a sinking, a...