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The Fall of the House of Usher
Transcript of The Fall of the House of Usher
By Edgar Allan Poe Project by Whitney, Jacob, Levi and Brooke Summary I think the lesson of the story is that family is sacred and you should cherish the time you have with them. "Madeline's return from the tomb and the collapse of the house into the tarn are "logically" explained in terms of the narrator's mounting hysteria, the resulting in hallucination, and the natural destructiveness of the storm" (Neilson 2). Works Cited Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Fall of the House of Usher.” Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin, TX.: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1997. 321-333. Print.
This simile is appropriately used in this section because it was describing what was going on after the Usher family fell. Simile Personification "Sleep came not near my couch-while the hours waned and waned away" (Poe 330). The narrator approached the House of Usher, noticing it's dull and murky features. He comes to the house after receiving an invitational letter from his boyhood friend Roderick Usher saying that he is physically and mentally ill. He enters the house and is greeted by the servant. The narrator notices how dreary the house is on the inside. Then he is taken to Roderick and realizes the severity of his current condition. Soon after the narrator's arrival, he finds that Roderick's sister Madeline has died of catalepsy (loss of control of limbs). Then they decide to bury Madeline temporarily in the tombs below the house. He wants to keep her in the house so that scientists do not dig her up for examination. In order to cheer up Roderick, the narrator partakes in various activities with him including reading, painting, and playing the guitar. After the burial, the narrator was not as disturbed as the usher, but as time progressed, sleep eluded the narrator. One night Roderick goes into the narrator's room. They see a bright gas surrounding the house, but they don't think anything of it. Then, the narrator begins to read to Roderick, but as he is doing this Roderick starts mumbling sounds. He believes that they buried Madeline alive and that she is trying to escape. The door flies open and Madeline is standing there. She attacks Roderick and he dies of fear. Madeline also dies and the narrator flees the house as it crumbles to the ground. Symbol Romanticism Poe's Purpose His purpose for writing this story is to entertain the reader because Edgar writes stories to show the dark side of romanticism. "The disease of the lady Madeline had long baffled the skill of her physicians. A settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and frequent although transient affections of a partially cataleptical character, were the unusual diagnosis" (Poe 326). This section shows intuition because that's all the doctors could diagnose her with because they had never been exposed to something like this before. "If ever mortal painted an idea, that mortal was Roderick Usher. For me at least-in the circumstances then surrounding me-there arose out of the pure abstractions which the hypchondriac contrived to throw upon his canvas, an intensity of intolerable awe, no shadow of which felt I ever yet in the contemplation of the certainly glowing yet too concrete reveries of Fuseli" (Poe 327). This section fits the imagination theme of romanticism because it talks about the narrator imagining this creepy painting and psyching himself out. "The disease which had thus entombed the lady in the maturity of youth, had left, as usual in all maladies of a strictly cataleptical character, the the mockery of a faint blush upon the bosom and the face, and that suspiciously lingering smile upon the lip which is so terrible in death" (Poe 330). This passage fits the innocence theme because she was diagnosed at a young age and had no way to fight against the disease. You could say she was helpless and couldn't do anything about it. The crumbling mansion was a symbol of the end of the Usher family. Poe used this in the story because the house was a very important part of the family's history. The house was passed down in their family and once the last one of them died off, the house came crumbling down. I think it concludes the story very well because we realize that everything related to the Usher family is extinct. Personification is appropriately used here because it talks about how the narrator is just having one sleepless night after the other due to the burying of lady Madeline. "...there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters..." (Poe 333). Neilson, Keith."The Fall of the House of Usher". Masterplots, Fourth Edition. (November 2010): P1-4. Literary Reference Center. Web. October 2012. www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMLPnk9-6MM