In his short story "The Fall of the House of Usher", Edgar Allen Poe presents his
reader with an intricately suspenseful plot filled with a foreboding sense of
Poe uses several literary devices, among the most prevalent, however
are his morbid imagery and eerie parallelism.
Hidden in the malady of the main
character are several different themes, which are all slightly connected yet
Poe begins the story by placing the narrator in front of the decrepit,
decaying mansion of Roderick Usher.
Usher summoned his childhood friend, the
narrator, to his home by sending a letter detailing
only a minor illness.
the narrator arrives and sees the condition of the house he becomes increasingly
When the narrator first sees his host he describes his morbid
appearance and it arouses his superstition even more.
Over a period of time the
narrator begins to understand his friends' infliction, insanity.
He tries in vane
to comfort his friend and provide solace, however to no avail.
only remaining kin, his sister Madeline dies, Rodericks insanity seems to have gone
to a heightened level.
Shortly after his sister's death, Roderick's friend is
reading him a story.
As things happen in the story, simultaneously the same
description of the noises come from within the house.
As Usher tries to persuade
the narrator that it is his sister coming for him, and his friend believing
Roderick has gone stark raving mad, Madeline comes bursting in through the door and
kills her brother.
The narrator flees from the house, and no sooner does he get
away than he turns around and sees a fissure in the houses masonry envelop the
house and then watch the ground swallow up the remains.
In "The Fall of the House of Usher" Poe introduces the reader to three
characters; Lady Madeline, Roderick Usher, and the narrator, whose name is never
Lady Madelin, the twin sister of Roderick Usher, does not speak one word
throughout the story.
In fact she is absent from most of the story, and she and
the narrator do not stay together in the same room.
After the narrators arrival
she takes to her bed and falls into a catatonic state.
He helps to bury her and
put her away in a vault, but when she reappears he flees.
Before she was buried
she roamed around the house quietly not noticing anything, completely overcome by
her mental disorder.
Roderick Usher appears to be an educated man. He comes from a wealthy family