Fiction The Fall of the House of Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


"The Fall of The House of Usher" is a very interesting story. It talks of a man who received a letter from his friend Roderick Usher asking him to visit. The letter talks of the torture and torment Roderick was going through and is a plea for help. In the letter, Roderick explains his distress over his mental illness and the state that he is suffering from. The man was a good friend to Roderick when they were young boys and so he decides to visit his friend. He decides to visit Roderick despite the fact that they had grown apart over the years, and had not communicated for a while. On arrival, he describes the house as "mansion of gloom" that aroused mixed feelings of joy and sadness (Poe p. 5). The narrator finds his friend in very bad shape. He suffers from severe mental disorder. He also has a sister, Madeline, who is sick and has "a settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and frequent although transient affections of a partially cataleptical character" (Poe p. 11). Roderick is deeply hurt and worried about his sister and fears that she will die. He is certain that losing his sister will destroy him. Roderick is superstitious and believes that their house has the ability to feel and respond to what happens inside it. All these increase the feeling of gloom that the narrator felt as he entered the house. The two are sure that something horrible will happen. To help Roderick get his mind off his worries and superstitious beliefs, the narrator indulges him in talk about the art in the house. This does not help much and eventually the sister dies. The two are not sure if she is actually dead since the seizures also made her appear dead. They decide to entomb her in a vault below the house. One night, "the nervousness of the narrator increases to such a level that he cannot sleep even though he tries to assure himself that his fear is only evoked by the gloomy furniture of the room" (Linnarz p. 9). Roderick is also unable to sleep and the two finally sit in the narrator's room. The narrator starts to read from a book to keep busy. As he reads to his friend, the sounds described in the tale sound like the ones in the house. They continue to be distinct and the narrator can no longer ignore them. Suddenly, they see the doors open, and Madeline standing there covered in blood. Roderick is so shocked because he is now sure that they buried his sister alive. He rushes to hold her and the two falls down and die. The narrator is so scared and horrified that he runs outside and gets on his horse to leave. While riding away, he sees the house of the Ushers tear down the middle and fall.

On the other hand, "The Raven" is a horror poem in which the main character is a man fixated on a woman called Lenore. The man is about to doze off when he hears a tapping on the door. When he hears someone tapping at the door he is full of terror and hopes it is the maiden. On checking it out, there is nothing but vast darkness and cold. The man is terrified of living without his beautiful maiden. He wants to end the sorrow but seems unable to bring himself to do so. He goes back into the house disappointed and fearful, and then hears a tap on the window lattice. On opening the window, a raven flies into his house and perches above his chamber door. This raven is the third character of the poem, with which the persona has an interesting conversation. The persona asks the raven for its name, and is so surprised when the raven answers. Nevermore is the name of the raven. The raven does not utter another word for quite a while as the persona talks. It does not even flutter a feather. The persona then goes back to his melancholic mood and tells the bird that it will leave just as all his hope left. In response, the raven says "Nevermore." The ravens succeeds in making the grieving persona smile and shift his thoughts from Lenore to understanding why the bird only says "Nevermore." In that moment, a seraphim visits the persona with bring a portion that will make him forget Lenore. The persona comes back to his senses and begins to question the identity of the bird, calling it "a thing of evil." The persona begins to wail and asks the heavens to welcome the "rare and radiant" maiden. The raven stays put and the persona slowly gets lost in the shadows of mourning his maiden.


The parallels in "The Raven" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" are quite important and significant. For example, in both of his works, Edgar Poe uses suspense very creatively. Muller says, "Poe leaves the question of the identity" of the narrator "unanswered" (p. 3). The story of "The Fall of the House of Usher" does not reveal the identity of the narrator. The story only informs us that the narrator was a friend to Roderick. It denies us the opportunity to know anything else about him. The poem "The Raven" also denies us a chance to know "Lenore," the subject of the persona's obsession. Despite the fact that the persona cannot get her out of his mind, he does not tell us about his relationship with her. Throughout the poem, the relationship between the persona and Lenore is unclear. Dilemma is also evident in how both stories end. For example, in "The Raven," the persona is terrified and we are not sure whether he actually dies or simply becomes completely insane. We do not know whether the raven eventually leaves the persona's chamber or stays there forever. In the story "The Fall of the House of Usher," we do not know what becomes of the narrator. Does he live tormented by what he saw, or does the house crash him as it falls.

The unknown narrators in the both story and the poem appears in a characteristically Gothic setting that highlights the gothic genre of the two writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar apparently revisited a genre that he is confidentially proverbial with and creates the two narrations. A Gothic narration is in essence a fight back amid darkness and light, superstition and reason. The starting section of the House of Usher creates a gothic mood. Immediately Edgar entraps the reader in the first five subsections of the story thereby making the reader to get cramped within the limits of House of Usher. The inside of the castle holds strange rooms where the windows unexpectedly fluff up open, candles blowing, presence of moaning and creaking sounds and the view of Lady Madeline corpse, while in the outside, a raging storm is present (Poe 3) . These trends highlight the genre of Gothic. In the poem, The Raven, the genre is highlighted through the setting, a dying fire, a lonely apartment, and a dreary December night where the narrator studies his books in efforts of sidetracking himself from his own troubles. The narrator sporadically thinks of Lenore, but he is in a position to manage his emotions despite the fact that the efforts needed to manage his emotions makes him tired. These endeavors make his words very dawdling and superficially pacified. Nevertheless, during the narration, the central character becomes more troubled both in action and in mind, a development that he depicts via his rationalizations and through his increased exclamation-ridden monologue. In the last three stanzas, the poem contains expletives, "Nevermore" which reflects the desperation of the narrator's soul (Poe 55). Poe highlights through parody, the convections of gothic text in his poem, The Raven, and his Story, The Fall of House of Usher. Edgar is interested in forming more than a just out of the ordinary narrations or insightful parody. The two writing subject to analysis highlights an investigation of the very temperament of the gothic textuality and its effects on the reader.

Edgar Allan Poe is a writer whose ingenious energies are directly founded in a sense of grotesque incongruity. The crescendo of horror that set apart Edgar's gothic works and made him a significant source for contemporary writers receive intensifications through the conquest of trepidation over humor. In the two writings subject to analysis, Edgar highlights the theme of humor and fear through showing how fear triumphs over humor. In the "Fall of the House of Usher," the unknown narrator is ushered into the presence of his host, the frenzied Roderick (Poe 4). Here the joke leaves a bitter relish, as the reader see the unknown speaker's logical mindset little by little destroyed, ushering him into fear. On the other hand, "The Raven," provides an apparent case-in-point of humor withering as fear develops.…

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