Short Answers on Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Fall of the House of Usher'

Essay by hojugooseHigh School, 10th gradeB+, March 2007

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1.Describe the literary features of the first paragraph of Poe's "The fall of the House of Usher'.

The Fall of the House of Usher's first paragraph is infused with a Gothic feel. Words like ' Dark', 'Soundless' and 'Oppressive' are all featured in the first sentence to help set the scene of the melancholy House of Usher. He uses repetition to great effect by using adjectives all starting with the letter D which makes the sentence roll of your tongue, "During the whole of a dull, dark and soundless day." He does the same thing later on in the paragraph, "The grey sedge and the ghastly tree-stems." Another literary feature Poe uses is using the narrator as a camera. As the narrator moves around and looks at different things Poe describes them to us in great detail, "I looked upon the scene before me." This is the narrator capturing the shot with his proverbial, phantasmic eyes, and then Poe describes the scene to us as if we were watching it on a screen, "Upon the vacant eye like windows - Upon a few rank sedges - and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees."

Poe uses many literary features throughout the first paragraph and throughout the whole short story, above is just a few.

2. Many people regard the Gothic genre as fringe or marginal literature. What evidence exists to support this view?Gothic, as a genre, has fallen out of popular support over the last 75 years as people become less and less interested in books especially books that are hard to comprehend. Back in the 1850's Gothic was made popular by the likes of Egdar Allan Poe and Horace Walpole. This popularity waned as people has less and less time to read a short story slowly...