Psychological Profile: Roderick Usher

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The Fall Of The House Of Usher is a morbid melancholy story, common to the style of Edgar Allan Poe, whose works frequently incorporated death. The story is focused upon Roderick Usher, the last remaining heir to a wealthy family. Roderick was a hypochondriac who had an acuteness of touch, smell and taste, which could not handle bright lights. We are given an insight into the last days of Roderick through “his friend” who has been invited to stay. In those last days, the narrator (Roderick’s friend) describes Roderick to the reader, depicting his many states, moods, and actions. The story ends in the tragic death of Roderick and his twin sister Lady Madeline who, although is largely gone unmentioned throughout the story, plays a role in Roderick’s death. To get an insight into the Psychological mindset of Roderick, all one has to do is read the first two pages of the story. The clear description of the house of Usher, which is Metaphorically, linked directly to how Roderick is perceived throughout the story, given to us by the narrator.

As soon as the story starts, its clear that there is a very dark depressing theme. The narrator describes the setting as “Dull, dark, soundless day …… When the clouds hung oppressively low”. After establishing the mood, the reader is then introduced to the focus of the story. The House of Usher, “the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit”. The story then goes on in a more in-depth description of how the house appears to look and the types of feelings it arises within the narrator. The reason for the focus into the actual house of Usher instead of leaping into the introduction of Roderick himself is because of two things: Firstly, by capturing a clear idea of the area, of the house and its “bleak walls” we get a sense of the person(s) that inhabit the place. The place where one lives always represents the type of people that liven within it. You wouldn’t find Roderick Usher living in a...
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