Character Comparison for "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "A Rose for Emily"

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Interpretation of Fiction
January 31, 2012
“Until Death Do Us Part”
Through both “The Fall of the House of Usher” written by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Rose for Emily” written by William Faulkner, we see common themes of a gothic genre filled with rhetorical twists and turns. The dynamics in each work are elaborately depicted through the eyes of two narrators who are watching these pieces unfold. Many similar themes experienced in both Poe and Faulkner’s work deal with the ideology of death and preservation in regard to the one’s loved and lovers. Roderick Usher is the main character in “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Emily Grierson is the main character in “A Rose for Emily”. In a thorough examination of both short stories, it is apparent that the similarities that are most embedded in both Roderick and Emily are the ideas of insanity which manifests itself in the forms of their relationships, surroundings, and ideas of reality. Albeit the involvement of lovers versus loved ones can pose distinction, both works uniquely express theses idea through the main characters. In order to set the stage, we attempt to understand both Poe and Faulkner. Each writer expresses their works through a traditional gothic theme which includes a death in each story that produces a sense of internal debacle the main characters endure. Coincidentally we see the mental challenges provided by each death through the actions of our main characters Roderick and Emily.

Let’s first begin by examining Roderick Usher, the main character from “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Poe specifically addresses the lack of sanity in Roderick when he says “No portion of the masonry had fallen; and there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptations of parts, and the crumbling condition of the individual stones” (Poe 1117). In this quote, the narrator is speaking about the composition of the House of Usher and how it’s an oddity that the House is still standing...
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