The Fear In The House Of Usher

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The Fear In The House Of Usher Essay, Research Paper THE FEAR IN THE HOUSE OF USHER In the story The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe, setting is used to portray many different things. Poe uses setting to suggest ideas, effects, and images. It creates a mood and foreshadows future events. Poe communicates facts about the characters through symbols throughout the setting. In the story the narrator is going to the House of Usher to comfort his friend, Roderick Usher who has fallen into a mental depression. These negative influences ultimately lead to death in the end. The story revolves around the effects of fear and how the denial of our fears can lead to madness. # The narrator is immediately skittish about the house and its occupants. As he approaches the house,

with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. (Poe 21) The entire opening scene was gloomy as if he d stepped into blackness. He describes the house as having vacant eye-like windows upon a few rank sedges and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more Alvarado, 2 properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium (Poe 21). He sees the image of the house as if it were a large a skull and we can sense fear starting to invade the narrators mind. As he encounters his friend for the first time in many years he is shocked Roderick s appearance. He describes him as having A cadaverousness of complexion; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond

comparison; lips somewhat thin and very pallid, but of a surpassingly beautiful curve . (Poe 25) It was as if he was staring death in the face and he felt, startled and even awed (Poe 26) at the sight of Usher. Roderick Usher had a twin sister named Madeline who also resided in the mansion, although the narrator only caught glimpses of her passing through the halls he, regarded her with utter astonishment not unmingled with dread . From his arrival at the house to the end of the story the narrator experiences a heightening of fear towards the mansion and its occupants. Upon the receipt of Roderick s letter the narrator is moved by the plea of his only friend. He expressed an earnest desire to see [him], as his best and indeed his only friend .(Poe 22) They were friends not out of

the loved they shared for each other, but out of convenience. Poe writes, Although, as boys, we had been even intimate associates, yet I really Alvarado, 3 knew little of my friend. (Poe 22) They both had no other friends to speak of and shared the characteristics of darkness and gloom, and were both excessively reserved. The poem Alone by Edgar Allan Poe best describes the fear of loneliness the narrator experiences, And all I loved – I loved alone -. Then – in my childhood, in the dawn. Of a most stormy life - was drawn. Although the narrator knows little about Roderick he refers to him as his best friend to cope with his fear of being alone. He is intrigued with the Ushers family history and is drawn towards him for the sake of excitement and adventure. Roderick introduces

the narrator into the world he has created while being secluded inside the mansion for years. He shares that the books he reads are about death, magic, medieval torture, and poetry. All of these things show that Roderick is unstable and obsessed with death. As they become reacquainted several days pass he informs the narrator that Madeline has passed on. Madeline s death leaves Roderick the last of the Ushers and in great depression. Roderick and the narrator place her body in a vault that was small, damp, and entirely without means of admission for light; lying, at great depth, immediately beneath that portion of the building in which was my own sleeping apartment. (Poe 33) Alvarado, 4 The narrator is not at all concerned with the location of her body and goes along with