Jane Eyre vs the Fall of the House of Usher

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Dane Zarba

Madness is an aspect greatly used in literacy to show a violent or unknown parallel in stories. The role of madness is especially prevalent in literary works of the 19th century, in this case the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. In these works madness is a driving force behind the traits of characters and driving force of the conflict in these stories. In “The fall of the House of Usher” it drove Roderick to his demise and almost killed Rochester in Jane Eyre.

With the growing popularity of gothic literature in the 19th century many authors introduced elements those elements in their works. Edgar Allen Poe who was at the for front of gothic literature brought storytelling to a new level one of those stories was “The Fall of the House of Usher” were many gothic elements are present especially madness. Gothic elements are recognizable in the first lines of the story “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country ; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher”( Opening lines of “The Fall of the House of Usher”)

Having such a dark setting be opened right off the bat in the story introduces the depth and dark basis that shapes this story. A gothic attribute to this story is its use of madness and how it is a driving force for the plot of the story. Roderick who is a unwell man who is one of the last two descendents of the “Usher” legacy, The other descendent is his sister. As the story goes on you start to see the unraveling mind of Roderick who is suffering from many illnesses both mental and physical. The mental health of Roderick is paralleled by the condition of the house and seems to be degrading at the same...
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