Character analysis of Roderick Usher
By Prof. Ghulam Yasin
Edgar Alan Poe is an American writer, who is best known for his fondness for macabre, dualism of the world, mysterious atmosphere and incomprehensible events. He also likes to put very complicated and complex characters into his stories. As the character of Roderick Usher is also one of them. In his short story “The fall of house of Usher” Poe introduces us to Roderick Usher, one of the main characters in the story. Roderick along with his twin sister Madeline are the last standing descendants of the Ushers. The family was prestigious and rather a wealthy one, but some of its members suffered from some kind of mental diseases.
Poe describes Roderick’s physical features, which include lips that are “somewhat thin and very pallid,” hair that contains “more than web-like softness,” and a face characterized by a “finely moulded chin.” "The character of his face had been at all times remarkable”
Roderick is totally isolated from the world. He does not go out, he does not like the light and he cannot stand the smell of the flowers. He buried himself in his creepy house, abandoning himself in grief.
As the story progresses, he faced with an “acute bodily illness”, called up a childhood friend. The Narrator arrives at the House of Usher in order to visit at his call. While the relationship between him and Roderick is never fully explained, but the narrator remarks himself, “…as his best, and indeed his only personal friend…” The reader does learn that they were boyhood friends. That Usher writes to the Narrator, urging him to give him company in his time of distress, it shows their close relationship. It seems that that he did not give himself over to despair completely. He has a desire for life and he considers his friend as his saviour. He wanted somebody to help him, but the situation changed dramatically later.
Relation with the...
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