The Outside Corresponds with the Inside

In: Novels

Submitted By tujaa
Words 1628
Pages 7

Edgar Allan Poe's tale The Fall of the House of Usher is often considered as one of Poe's most sophisticated and therefore a lot of alternative critical interpretations are given. This tale might even be Poe's tale with the most reviews.
These reviews mainly deal with the decay of the house or the role of Roderick Usher (cf. Magistrale 66).
That is the reason why I have chosen this short story of Edgar Allan Poe. I was amongst other things fascinated by the complex composition and the impossibility of understanding the story with the first reading.
I will analyze Poe's tale with regard to comparing the degeneration of the house to the degeneration of one of the main characters, Roderick Usher.
At first I will sum up how the mansion and Roderick Usher are characterized, thereupon I will analyze how you can regain the description of the mansion in the description of Roderick Usher and why they have to collapse together in the end and explain it amongst others with the help of Poe's 'theory of totality' and symbolism.

The Outside: Description of the House of Usher

The description of the House of Usher can be divided into two parts.
In the first one it is said that the mansion in which Roderick Usher is living together with his sister Lady Madeline lays in a grim and plain neighborhood. The narrator, who is an old childhood friend of Roderick Usher and sees and describes the scenery, tells the reader of a strong dark feeling which overcomes him, when he sees the House of Usher for the first time after a long ride during a dark autumn day.
The mansion has dreary walls, vacant eye-like windows, only a few withered plants around it and a dark tarn in front of it, in which the narrator can see the mirror image of the mansion. This second look causes a stronger shudder to the narrator than the first did.
The whole place is surrounded with…...

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