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The Fall of the House of Usher

Edgar Allan Poe
by

Garrett Daffron

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher Characters Unnamed narrator Roderick Usher Madeline Important Lines and Imagery Message of the story Themes Conflict You can try to run from death but it will always find you. There is no escape. Problem:
Roderick and his twin sister, Madeline are both ill and Roderick is fearful of death. He ask his friend (the unnamed narrator) to come and visit him for a while. Although, death will strike sooner than he thinks and in an odd way. Solution and outcome:
The solution to the story is simply death. Madeline dies (or so they think) from an unusual disease that hinders her from properly using her limbs. Shortly after Madeline's burial beneath the house, she enters the house behind the narrator who is reading a story to Roderick. Madeline attacks Roderick and kills him as she spends all her energy and dies. The narrator runs out of the house as it falls and the story ends. Written in 1839 The unnamed narrator in the story is an old friend of Roderick Usher's that is visiting him due to an illness. Roderick Usher is the main character that the story is around. Roderick is fearful of death and has asked the narrator to stay with him for peace. Madeline is the twin sister of Roderick. She is unable to use her limbs and soon dies in the story. She is buried alive and comes back to kill Roderick. Vocab An obvious theme in the story is fear and death. These themes are not only visible in The Fall of the House of Usher but in most of Poe's literature. The Masque of the Red Death is an example of this. goading-something that encourages, urges, or drives; a stimulus.
sublime-supreme or outstanding
lurid-gruesome; horrible; revolting
munificent-characterized by great generosity
undeviating-to turn aside, as from a route, way, course, etc.
paradoxical-a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. Roderick's illness is more mental than it is physical. The stress that Roderick is under mentally causes him to appear pale and unlively. Extra Info Roderick and Madeline are the last of the Usher's. Should Roderick die, the rest of the Usher generation is doomed. Turning point:
The turning point of the story is when the narrator is reading to Roderick and everything that they read occurs in the house. Roderick starts mumbling and the narrator finds out he's heard sounds like this for weeks. Roderick screams and the wind blows open the door where Madeline is standing, bloodied from her burial escape. Vocab sombre-gloomily dark; shadowy; dimly lighted pallor-unusual or extreme paleness, as from fear, ill health, or death; wanness.
anomalous-deviating from or inconsistent with the common order, form, or rule
phantasmagoric-having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination
sulphureous- pertaining to the fires of hell "an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the gray wall, and the silent tarn- a pestilent and mystic vapor, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden-hued."

"An excited and highly distempered ideality threw a sulphureous lustre over all."- metaphor

"An irrepressible tremor gradually pervaded my frame; and, at length, there sat upon my heart an incubus of utterly causeless alarm."- metaphor
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