Continuing a Legacy
Very similar to the films of filmmaker Tim Burton, Edgar Allen Poe puts forth a similar style in his writings, as in the short story “ The Fall of the House of Usher”, which depicts a very dark and gothic tone. This tone demonstrates a common style of Poe’s writing and reveals a much deeper message throughout his text. In this literary piece, Poe unfolds the story of the Usher family, who through an unknown narrator explains the demise of the Usher “house” due to characters Roderick and Madeline’s inability to continue the legacy of their family name. The cause of this incapability is an effect from Roderick and Madeline’s choice to isolate themselves from society, and their decision to no longer continue to be a societal model or “city upon a hill” as their ancestors once were. John Winthrop started this principle of being a city upon a hill in the early establishment of colonization at Massachusetts Bay. It was a challenge for Americans to serve as a positive demonstration to the rest of society, in order to not experience failure like they had in their previous land. The significance of being a model to society and continuing a legacy was shown when Roderick and Madeline, who do not demonstrate this, develop illnesses, which symbolically relates back to their inability to be like their ancestors. Finally as a result to all of this it ends in the fall of the “physical house” as well as the “family house” of Usher. Poe’s literary piece “ The Fall of the House of Usher” demonstrates the significance of continuing a family legacy and the importance of being a positive model to society; otherwise serious consequences can arise, as they did to the “house” of the Usher family.
The Usher ancestry was notorious for being a model to society, and it had much to do with their appreciation for the arts, science, and charity. Within the text, Poe gives an excerpt describing this through the narrator “I was aware however that his very...
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