In order to understand Roderick Usher’s loss of sanity at the end of The Fall of the House of Usher, Poe’s romantic focus needs to be understood. Poe’s romantic beliefs followed very closely to three main tenants of Romanticism. He believed that Nature is mysterious, and strange, Poe also focused heavily on man’s reaction to Nature, particularly man’s emotions and intuition. There are two main points in the story that are crucial in discovering that the story takes place in Roderick Usher’s mind. Since the entire story takes place in Usher’s mind, it becomes evident that; what Usher perceives happens, which means that Usher’s environment is more than just a manifestation of his own mind, it is his mind.
Usher’s poem “The Haunted Palace” is the first time Usher’s thoughts become reality and is the first hint that the story takes place in his mind. After the narrator describes the poem it is clear that Usher is not talking about a Palace, but of himself and the loss of his sanity, he describes the house and himself as one clearly when he says “… Two luminous windows saw spirits moving musically… the fair palace door… Here Usher describes a luxurious, happy home. Poe uses the world musically to show that Usher’s mind is all there, this is because music is rhythmic and mathematical and has order. A troop of echoes whose sweet duty was but to sing… and travelers now within that valley, through the red-litten windows, see two vast forms that move fantastically to a discordant melody… through the pale door, a hideous throng rush out forever, and laugh - - but smile no more” (Poe 285). Now Usher is describing a horrible, terrifying home that no longer has the rhythmic mathematical order that it used to have. In short Usher is saying that he has lost his mind. Another thing to take note of is that in both excerpts the descriptions of the houses also look like the description of a head. The two windows are supposed to be eyes, and the door describes his mouth. By...
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