The Fall Of The House Of Usher

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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"The Fall of the House of Usher" is perhaps the most famous horror story in American literature. This story is primarily about pride and revenge. The entire story is a projection of the narrator's mind and is crucial in developing suspense and horror.

By using a first-person narration, Poe let's the reader see into the mind of the killer. Each move the narrator makes attracts the reader's attention, which makes the story come alive. When the narrator tells how the Lady Madeline of Usher was bleeding all over her white robes and had signs of a terrible struggle upon her emaciated frame, the reader gets a picture in his mind about how Poe's mind works. (Poe, 277) The narrator confesses and talks to the reader, which makes the reader part of the story.

Throughout the story, the narrator keeps making reference to his dreams, or how it feels like things were moving or touching him.

(Poe, 267-268) Consequently, the reader can't help but think that people are touching them, which makes this story seem like you are in the narrator's mind.

The narrator confesses to having killed a man but insists that he is not crazy. (Poe, 269) He states that he is out for revenge, which develops a heightened awareness of craziness, and how his mind works.

The atmosphere of this story pulls everything together with gothic arches and long, narrow windows. (Poe, 267) If it weren't for the weird interpretations of the narrator's thoughts, the story would not hold as much value as it does today.