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What Is The Symbolism In The Fall Of The House Of Usher

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Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher is mediated through a first-person narrator who visits Roderick Usher, an old friend in need because of an illness, in his terrifying mansion. After a few mysterious happenings, Roderick and his twin sister Madeline die at the end of the story and the house collapses completely. As the title of the short story suggests the house plays a role in it. This essay will argue that the house is a very important element of the story and that it functions as a symbol for Roderick Usher and the whole Usher family in general. Furthermore, it will also be shown that the motif of the house is adopted in the poem The Haunted Palace within the story and that it functions as a feature of the Gothic genre.…show more content…
In the first scene, the narrator comes to the house for the first time after years and he feels immediately insufferable. The representation of the setting, including the antique building and the depressing landscape is a foreshadowing sign for the spooky things that are going to happen inside the house (Walker 586). Already the first description of the house with attributes as “bleak” or “vacant eye-like” (Poe 3) and that it stands in the “shades of the evening” points to its desolateness and obscurity which is a frequent factor concerning the setting in the Gothic (Steven 54). According to David Stevens it is common in Gothic works that “the setting itself appears to be the main character and gives the novel a title” (Steven 55) as it is the case in The Fall of the House of Usher and the house serves as an indicator for a Gothic
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