The Fall of the House of Usher
Edgar Allan Poe
January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849
The fall of the house of usher is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. It is a detailed, symbolic account of the derangement and dissipation of an individual's personality. In short the story is about an unknown narrator who has been asked to visit an old friend, called Roderick Usher, who is ill. When he gets to the dreary looking mansion, he finds out that the sister is sick too. Many weird things happen, and Roderick claims that his sister is dead. So they put her in the family tomb. The narrator notices that the dead sister had red rosy cheeks. There is a storm and Roderick Usher gets upset. The narrator tries to calm him down by telling him a story. During the story, Roderick says he can hear screaming and that it is coming from his sister who was alive when they entombed her. Next minute the door opens and the sister falls in the door on top of Roderick and they are both dead. The narrator runs and escapes the house of Usher. Poe uses many language techniques to scare the reader such as allusions/references to other texts, descriptive language, and anaphora. This essay will discuss these three techniques.
Poe implies to other texts throughout The Fall of the House of Usher. In the opening epigraph, Poe quotes "Le Refus" (1831) by the French songwriter Pierre-Jean de Béranger. The narrator describes one of Usher's musical compositions as "a ... singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of Von Weber". Here Poe refers to a popular piano work of his time. Usher's painting reminds the narrator of the Swiss-born British painter Henry Fuseli (1741–1825). Implying to or referring to other texts credits the audience with the necessary experience to make sense of such allusions and offers them the pleasure of recognition. By hinting at other texts, it focuses on persuading the audience to believe in the on-going reality of the narrative. It...
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