The Fall Of The House Of The

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The Fall Of The House Of The Usher Essay, Research Paper Edgar Allen Poe “The Fall of the House of Usher” An Author Unlike Any Other During the nineteenth century, literary writers were encouraged in transcendentalism. Their main focus was on capturing the spirituality in nature. For example, authors such as Henry Thoreau and Ralph Emerson were dominating the world of poetry and prose with their tales of nature. From Thoreau’s’ journey through the Maine Woods to Emerson’s Nature, the transcendental ere, was in the main stream. Yet, not all of the nineteenth century writers shared this same viewpoint. As a matter of fact, one writer emerging, who proved to be just as prominent, had a viewpoint in direct opposition of his contemporaries. The great Edgar Allen Poe,

though born during the same period and encountered the same influences, would emerge as a different writer. “Those others”, Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Whittier and Holmes, “turned toward Wordsworth while Poe, took Coleridge as his loadstar in his search for a consistent theory of art” (Perkins 1236). Poe’s creativity was, perhaps, due to the lifestyle in which he lived. It was obviously different, much more harsh and filled with heartache and death. His influence on the arts was different from that of his contemporaries as well. “He influenced the course of creative wiring and criticism by emphasizing the are that appeals simultaneously to reason and to emotion and by insisting that the work of art is not a fragment of the author’s life, nor an adjunct to didactic

purpose, but an object created in the cause of beauty—which he defined in its largest spiritual implication” (1236). His life was a very tragic which was displayed through many of his works. Some of his poetry for example, could be construed as horrid accounts of death. “The Raven”, evidently was a gruesome depiction of the torment he faced after the death of his young wife, Virginia. Of course, we know that “Annabel Lee” was also about her death, but “The Raven” was a darker tale of Poe blaming himself for her untimely passing. Other works that cast a shadow of gloom and suggest his fascination with death, include, “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Lenore”. One short story in particular, which leaves a lot for the imagination to ponder is, “The Fall of the

House of Usher”. Is it a story filled with symbolism or should it all be taken literally? Is it a satire? Did Poe have a friend which he modeled the character, Roderick Usher, after or was that Poe himself? Those were the questions that arose upon reading this story. He sets an eerie imagery of this house in the beginning, almost personifying its features. It was as if he was suggesting that the house held a certain master, as with the constant mention of its “vacant and eye-like windows”. “It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural object which have the power of thus

affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth” (1270). He uses constant metaphoric references to the house and emphasizes the significance of his human-like presence. It is a possibility that the House has become a parallel symbol of Usher of Poe Himself. Once upon a time this House was a safe haven for the Usher family, but after being consumed by all the evils (dark family secrets), it has become a tormenting reminder of sins. The decaying of this House was a symbolic parallelism to the decaying of Roderick Usher and Lady Madeline’s health. The character, Roderick Usher, bared a striking resemblance to Poe. It would not be too inconceivable to assume that he saw himself this way. For instance, Lady Madeline shared some of the same