The central theme of this novel “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a death of a beautiful woman. Poe touched some borderlines of science in which supernatural any mysterious events that cannot be explained interfere. There is symbolism in this novel. Death is a symbol of the dreams victory over reality; the man’s last fight to liberate himself of his body or reality that surrounds him after which he waits for serenity. The house (castle) is identified with the characters. We can see it in the situation when Madeline dies because then Roderick has to die and with him, the castle crashes down as a symbol of unity.
As motives in the short story, Poe uses the old castle, underground corridors, fear, death, dark psychical states of the characters, luxurious interiors, deep and mysterious lake, storm and a supernatural and mysterious event. The scenes in the house were made of movements and dark colors. One of the most interesting pictures is the one of the Ushers castle coming down and showing us the moon through its cracks.
While riding a horse, the storyteller comes in front of the castle one day. The house caused anxiety in him. Despite that, our hero decided to spend a few weeks inside of it. He accepted the invitation of his childhood friend wanting to ease up his illness with his presence. He looked sat the dangerously cracked wall and got excited by the quiet and deep lake around the castle. He entered its dark chambers. Everything seemed dark and sad.
The atmosphere was a symbol of the spiritual condition of its habitants Rodrick Usher and his twin sister Madeline. Roderick was, as an intellectual, mentally deranged, melancholic and had a fear of the future. His sister Madeline often had attacks of tensed up muscles, a disease that was a mystery to the doctors. She became a loner and did not want any company.
The storyteller tried to ease the melancholy to Usher. They read mystical books together and painted. Usher wanted to picture the idea – and ideal beauty connected to fear. He loved to play the guitar and come up with new and fantastical performances. While he was spending time with his friend, the storyteller realized that Roderick was connected to the atmosphere of the castle, trees that surrounded it and the peaceful lake.
One day Usher said to the guest that Madeline died and that he will keep the body, according to the tradition, in the basement for 14 days before the funeral.
After putting his sister in the coffin, Usher started to fall apart mentally and physically. He was suffering from a sixth sense and felt evil coming. Ushers fear was translated to the guest. And then one stormy night both of them were frightened. Strange events described in the book that the two of them were reading started to happen inside the castle. They heard screaming, kicking and breakage. The atmosphere was filled with fear. Usher was sitting on the chair stiff as a rock. Madeline was buried alive, and she came out of the grave after a bitter fight and was standing on the door covered with blood.
The storyteller ran out of the chambers, ran out of the castle frightened after Madeline and Roderick fell dead to the ground. A storm was still going on outside. A sudden light shined the castle. The crack on the castle spread and the walls fell apart. Accompanied by thunder the whole castle drowned inside the lake.
Roderick Usher was an aristocrat, intellectual whos weak biological and psychical traits caused by inheritance and aging were stopping him in having a normal life.
Madeline was a beautiful, young and very sick women.
Edgar Allan Poe Biography
Edgar Allan Poe (1809. – 1849.) was an American author, poet, editor and a critic of the American realism. He lost his parents two years after birth and was adopted by a tobacco merchant who sent him to a school in England.
He was expelled because of his gambling debt and because of that the tobacco merchant didn’t want anything to do with him anymore. Under a false name, he joined the army but got kicked out because he disobeyed his orders.
He married the 13 years old Virginia who died of tuberculosis and it is considered to be the cause of his alcoholism and opium addiction. He dedicated the song “Annabel Lee” to her.
He got famous because of the poem “The Raven” and “The Murders in Rue Morge” and “The Purloined Letter” are considered to be his most famous crime novels.
He tried to kill himself and then he disappeared for three days and when he came back he died in a strange condition in 1849.
He wrote mystical works as “The Black Cat”. He wrote songs in a mystical romantic mood and bizarre motives.
Book reports from Edgar Allan Poe
- The Black Cat
- The Fall of the House of Usher
- The Masque of Red Death
- The Murders in the Rue Morgue
- William Wilson