The narrator observes that the house seems to have absorbed an evil and diseased atmosphere from the decaying trees and murky ponds around it. He notes that although the house is decaying in places—individual stones are disintegrating, for example—the structure itself is fairly solid. There is only a small crack from the roof to the ground in the front of the building. He has come to the house because his friend Roderick sent him a letter earnestly requesting his company.
Home of the madman Roderick Usher and his twin sister Madeline. The house is connected to the surrounding land by a narrow causeway, but the link is tenuous and precarious.
The atmosphere above and around the house has been poisoned by the exudations of the tarn, becoming eerie and pestilential.
The house is ancient, its whole exterior being infested by fungal growths. Although it retains its form when the narrator first sees it, he is aware that every individual stone comprising its walls is on the point of crumbling.
He also observes an almost imperceptible crack extending in a zigzag fashion from the roof to the foundations. The storm which precipitates the final destruction of the edifice is manifestly unnatural, originating within rather than without.
The vaporous clouds which gather about the turrets of the house are lit from below by luminous exhalations of the tarn. These clouds part just once, as the narrator flees from the house, to display a blood-red moon. It is by the ominous light of that celestial lantern that he sees the narrow crack widen, tearing the house apart from top to bottom so that its debris might collapse entirely into the tarn.
Entered through a Gothic archway, the hallway has black floors. Its walls are covered with somber tapestries and its corridors decked with creaky relics of ancient arms and armor. It is in one of the deepest of these—a cramped, damp and lightless covert used in olden times as a dungeon—that Roderick and the narrator place the body of the seemingly dead Madeline Usher.
Following her interment the house becomes noisier than before, even from the viewpoint of the narrator. The hypersensitive Roderick hears the miscellaneous knocks, creaks, and rumbles even more keenly, and the transformations imposed upon them by his vivid imagination are fed back into the fabric of the house.
The frequent use of the castles and mansions that are the centerpieces of most gothic novels to model the troubled minds of their owners was not always as deliberate, but Edgar Allan Poe understood exactly what was going on when such edifices were afflicted by supernatural visitations and battered by storms.
No one else had drawn such parallels so minutely, nor mapped the course of a symbolic tempest so accurately.Need help with The Fall of the House of Usher in Edgar Allan Poe's Poe's Stories? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis.
"The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe, Edgar Allan American short story writer, novelist, poet, critic, and essayist. The following entry presents criticism of Poe's short story "The Fall of the House of Usher," first published in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, September, Chapters on teaching Annabel Lee, The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, Hop Frog, The Fall of the House of Usher, Ligeia, The Mask of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, The Premature Burial, Morella, The Raven, .
Literary Analysis As with many of Edgar Allan Poe's pieces, "The Fall of the House of Usher" falls within the definition of American Gothic Literature.
According to Prentice Hall Literature, American Gothic Literature is characterized by a bleak or remote setting, macabre or violent incidents, characters being in psychological or physical torment, or .
Edgar Allan Poe Biography; About Poe's Short Stories; Summary and Analysis "The Fall of the House of Usher" exemplifies perfectly Poe's principle of composition that states that everything in the story must contribute to a single unified effect. Late in the story, Roderick Usher says: "I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when.
Along with "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Black Cat" and "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Fall of the House of Usher" is considered among Poe's most famous works of prose.