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The Role of Isolation and Madness
The Fall of the House of Usher
Short Story Essay

“Isolation is a self-defeating dream.” As quoted by Carlos Salinas de Gartani. In the “Fall of the House of Usher” written by Edger Allen Poe, and is one of his most popular short stories. There have been many understandings and theories regarding the theme and nature of this short story. In this story the use of diction, the overall setting and the characters relationships influence what the main theme revolves around, and the point of view regarding isolation and madness. The diction displayed in this story effectively communicates a certain vibe and tone that the story automatically dives into. The convincing “dreariness” and depressing take it has, influences the proper weight and importance in which the words hold in order to affect the story in such a great manner (1). When coming into view of the house of Usher, a sense of “insufferable gloom” and an “iciness, sinking, and sickening of the heart” that the Narrator feels, demonstrates the immediate development of the atmosphere that is quickly setting the mood (1). The diction in this story sets the attitude for a signature tune of fear and terror, “An irrepressible tremor gradually pervaded my frame” (25). The Narrator is “overpowered by an intense sentiment of horror”, and “felt that [he] should sleep no more during the night” (26). These sentiments describe his reactions to the events that take place while he is in the house of Usher. He attempts to believe that his fears were the result of his “gloomy” and the “intense darkness from his chamber” but internally he knows that his fears are truly from his friend’s mental disorder (25). Isolation and madness are represented through specific descriptive phrases. When the Narrator notices the “minute fungi” that “overspread the whole exterior”, he realizes that the house is slowly deteriorating (5). This phrase also describes isolation by helping set the mood of desolation...
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